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The Last Poppy

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30 publications in this series

The In Flanders Fields series

In Flanders Fields is a series of poignant and evocative choral works with a theme of reconciliation and remembrance, set to iconic texts by John McCrae and Rupert Brooke.

"Great piece, very effective and moving work for double bass trio." [Chris Clark, Double Bass Professor at The College of New Jersey, USA]

" It went over very well - a few people in the audience said it was their favorite piece." [Michael Cameron, Professor of Music, University of Illinois]

"VERY NICE!...meditative...playable, inspirational. Great job...composer!" [Barry Green]

"They adore it!!!..I can't tell you how thrilled we all were with your piece! " [Michael Klinghoffer]

"...a dark and poet lamentation" [Steve Wragg]

"Love that piece. Simple and very moving." [ Neil Pye]

The Last Poppy was inspired by the momentous and evocative poppy installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' at the Tower of London in 2014. Created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower's famous moat, each poppy representing a British military fatality during the First World War. More than 4 million people visited the poppies and my third visit, a few days before 11 November, was at 6.30am and just as the City of London was awakening. The site was almost empty and there was an eerie stillness which enhanced the beauty and poignancy of the poppies and what each one represented.

Driving back to Somerset a few ideas emerged and the form of the trio slowly took shape. The slow introduction, with its solemn and slow moving melody is set against a high harmonic drone, evoking the stillness of the early morning as London slowly awoke. The soloist then becomes the accompanist providing a grounding drone contrasting the more lyrical melodies, played in thirds, as the drama and futility of war is evoked with simple and evocative textures and themes.

The final section, played entirely in harmonics, is gently unsettling as bass 3 challenges the melodic unity of bass 1 and 2, the music gently fading into the distance as a few notes of the Last Post are heard in the far distance. A brief silence is broken by a strong and positive D major chord, in six parts, which offers a chord of hope and reconciliation.

The Last Poppy was premiered on 31 January 2015 at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset, UK) by Joe Prindl, Matthew Green and David Heyes.

The Last Poppy had it's US premiere on 12 April 2015 at The College of New Jersey (Ewing, New Jersey) by Victoria Weniger, Tom Littwin, and Ryan Wickham, students of Chris Clark.

David Heyes studied double bass with Laurence Gray and Bronwen Naish and later at the Royal College of Music in London. He completed his post-graduate studies in Prague with Frantisek Posta (Principal Double Bass, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra). He has given recitals and masterclasses in 13 countries over the past few years and has been a juror at a number of international competitions, twice as chairman.

David has been Specialist Double Bass Tutor at Wells Cathedral School for 17 years and received a prestigious award from the David Walter Charitable Trust of New York for his pioneering activities as a soloist, teacher, publisher and commissioner of new music for double bass. He works with composers throughout the world and is particularly interested to expand the double bass repertoire, by commissioning new works and by rediscovering forgotten ones. Over the past 30 years he has commissioned more than 500 works, from beginner to virtuoso, and from one to twenty basses.

David has transcribed more than 200 works for double bass, many published by Recital Music, and in recent year has also composed a number of original works for double bass which have been performed in Britain, America and Czech Republic. David is self-taught as a composer and his music has been described as lyrical and accessible, but certainly of the 21st-century. In recent years he has had premieres and performances in Britain, America, Spain and the Czech Republic, was a Featured Composer at Galicia Graves 2015 (Spain) and composed 'Sahara' as the imposed work for the competition.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4H0j4E82O4

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Cat No. RM114
Supplier Code RM114
Price £8.50
ComposerDavid Heyes
CategoryDouble Bass Trio
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesIn Flanders Fields
Difficulty level6 - 8
ISMN 979-0-57045-114-2
EAN-13 9790570451142
Weight 128 grams
Published 10th July 2015
Availability 11 in stock
See also...
RM579  Pastyme with Good Companye (CELLO TRIO)
RM880  Suite in the Olden Style No.1 (double bass trio)
RM912  Heroes & Villains
RM952  Invocation (DOUBLE BASS ENSEMBLE)
RM1062  No Man's Land (DOUBLE BASS QUINTET)