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Impressions of Elgar

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Tony Osborne writes: 'This piece commemorates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Edward Elgar (1867-1934), without doubt one of the most popular of all composers, whose artistic mastery of melody, harmony, orchestral colour and timing, together with his vision of the expression of beauty, from the simplest to the grandest and most rousing, are legendary. In this suite I have embarked on a journey of unashamed indulgence into Elgar's world - here we find cottages, rolling countryside, old motor cars, bicycles, small dogs and majestic moustaches - the more ordinary side of Elgar's life - circumstance but little pomp!

The first movement (Simple Pleasures) opens in a light gentle, swirling stream of 6/8 which is reminiscent of the delightful 'Serenade for Strings', also of ice-cream and parasols by the bandstand in the park. There follows a much deeper and reflective section taking us into a more intimate and slightly more melancholic mood. Both themes are restated and the movement closes with a further brief reference to the opening.

The second movement (Scenes & Dreams: English Pastures) is a tender, flowing and romantic melody. A more intense treatment develops, but the movement closes with a return of the initial tranquility. This might reflect Elgar's love of the Malvern Hills, or his innermost feelings.

The third movement (Grace & Nobility) is in a more march-like and brighter mood - a brisk walk, a convivial gathering of Elgar's circle of friends, or a trip to London to hear the premiere of one of his celebrated, majestic works for orchestra. Like the 2nd Symphony - his last known during his lifetime - this suite ends quietly and contemplatively in celebration of one of music's greatest forces.'

Tony Osborne is an important educationalist and prolific composer who has made a significant and unique contribution to the double bass repertoire over the past 35 years. His solo music for young bassists is included by many international examination boards, and his many ensembles pieces are performed at workshops and concerts throughout the world. Tony Osborne notes the influences of Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein, alongside some of the Russian masters, on his music, which he combines with a jazzy, rhythmic and energetic style that has been popular with players and audiences worldwide.

Born in 1947 into a musical family, Tony Osborne studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with John Walton (double bass) and Richard Stoker (composition), and divides a busy career between composing, teaching and performing. A very prolific composer and arranger, Tony's original compositions include works in almost every genre, notably Chaconne Syncopations and Wainwright's Ways for brass quintet, Celebration Fanfare for brass ensemble, the musical A Fine Time for Wine, a beautiful and dramatic Requiem and many works for string orchestra.

In 2001 Tony Osborne was elected an ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for his pioneering and important work for double bass, and has been a featured composer at Bass-Fest for the past decade. He was a very successful BIBF Composer-in-residence in 2002-3 and wrote a number of impressive and innovative works for the project. He has been a judge for the British Composer Awards over the past few years and has been a judge for the BIBF Composition Competition since 1999. Recital Music held a concert of Tony Osborne's music in 2012, to celebrate the composer's 65th birthday, and has formulated a 10-year project to publish all his works for double bass.


  • 1. Simple Pleasures
  • 2. Scenes & Dreams - English Pastures
  • 3. Grace & Nobility

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Cat No. RM749
Supplier Code RM749
Price £12.50
ComposerTony Osborne
CategoryDouble Bass Quartet
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-749-6
EAN-13 9790570457496
Weight 157 grams
Published 2nd September 2014
Availability 6 in stock
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