About this Recording
8.574096 - Transcriptions for Double Bass and Piano - SAINT-SAËNS, C. / DEBUSSY, C. / GRIEG, E. / BACH, J.S. (Tranquillo II) (PianoBasso)

Introduction is an improvisation over the theme of The Swan. Improvisations based on the harmonic, melodic or rhythmic signature of a piece is a common feature in a PianoBasso live performance.

The Swan is the 13th movement of a suite called The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns, first performed on March 9, 1886, in Paris. The original score was written for solo cello and two pianos. In 1905 Mikhail Fokine made a ballet choreography around the piece for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, called The Dying Swan.

Clair de Lune (French for moonlight) is the third and most famous movement of the Suite bergamasque by Claude Debussy. Bergamasque is a dance from the Italian city Bergamo. Initially released in 1905 for piano it has been arranged for many different settings.

Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg has written twelve songs (opus 33, 1880) based on poems by the Norwegian poet Aasmund Vinje. One of them is The Last Spring which also was included as the second movement in opus 34, Two Elegiac Melodies (1881).

The organist and music teacher David Wikander mainly composed and arranged sacred music, but it is his profane choir music that made him famous. Kung Liljekonvalje was originally composed for a men’s choir, and was first published 1920. The text is a poem, written 1896 by one of Sweden’s most famous poets, Gustaf Fröding.

Vårnatt (Swedish for spring night) was composed in 1912 by Wilhelm Stenhammar, at the time chief conductor at the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and also one of the foremost national romantic composers in Sweden.

The melody of Lascia ch’io pianga is most recognized from George Frideric Handel’s opera Rinaldo from 1711, which was an immediate success. However, Handel had already used the music in the aria twice before that, only with other texts. In the aria, Almirena pleads to the Saracen king Argante, who has imprisoned her and fallen in love with her, to leave her alone or set her free.

Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s The Fog is Lifting is one of the songs of the incidental music The Mother, opus 41. The music was commissioned by the Royal Danish Theatre, and was first performed in 1921 at a gala celebrating the reunification of Southern Jutland with Denmark.

Possibly the most well-known air of them all, Air by Johann Sebastian Bach, was written ca 1730 as the second movement of Suite no. 3 in D major (BWV 1068). In order to achieve the wanted sound from the double bass Thomas Gustavsson’s arrangement for PianoBasso is written in A major.

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring is a part of the cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and mouth and deed and life), composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1723 (BWV 147). Contrary to the piano transcription by Dame Myra Hess, Thomas Gustavsson’s arrangement consistently places the soprano voice on the highest keys in order to highlight the melody.

Thanks to Stephan Jansson at Naxos Sweden, Kalle Gustafsson Jerneholm at Svenska Grammofon Studion, Johanna Lannerö, Rebecca and Rafael Collin for filming ourYouTube videos, Anna Stenflo for introducing Vårnatt to us, Ann Waldeborn at the Gothenburg City Theatre, Reymond Larsson Rea for musical inspiration, and to our families and friends for love and support.

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