Solo bass-player with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra Dan Styffe launches his third solo album with brand new repertoire for the instrument. Nine composers, including such well-known names as Pärt and Vasks, allow Styffe to really excel together with a handful of the foremost Norwegian musicians today.
Modern classic in a new register
The mesmerizing masterpiece Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt is of course no less than a classic, and Styffe was given the green light by the composer for a version for the double bass. The Kadenza by Teppo Hauta-Aho is among the most popular and performed works for double bass today.
Several of the pieces on Bass Trip are commissions made by Styffe, and they all explore different territories of the double bass. Jon Øivind Ness unleash primal forces in his duo for bass and viola Gust, and Henrik Hellstenius stages a mysterious drama for bass and percussion in Ombra della sera (Evening shadows). The Hymn by Lars Petter Hagen is described as “a piece of non-existing folk music for an enormous, virtual, Hardanger fiddle.”
The title track of this release is by Peteris Vasks, himself a bass player. It moves from ‘larger than life’ deep power to the utmost beauty in the melancoly little waltz at the end. In the score the composer directs that the melody can be whistled or sung by the player, but we felt that this beautiful moment called for something quite singular. With the composer’s blessing we gave the vocal part to Susanna Wallumrød, known from Susanna And The Magical Orchestra (Rune Grammofon). The result is a perfect end to an exiting and rewarding trip into new music for double bass in splendid performance.