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A Little Gift for a Birthday

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A Little Gift for a Birthday is a suite of pieces dedicated to three composers who have a significant birthday in 2017. All were premiered at Basses Galore! in Frome (Somerset) on Sunday 23 April 2017.

1. Tony Osborne was premiered by Eloise Riddell and Tony, who celebrated his 70th birthday in 2017, was present for the concert. The piece is lively, vibrant and rhythmic full of verve and energy, typical of much of Tony's jazz-inspired music, employing much of the range of the double bass. A recurring motif, based around a B major arpeggio, with a sharpened 7th note, works to unify the piece with an ever present major-minor tonality adding interest and drama.

2. John Alexander was premiered by Alex Heather and John, who celebrated his 75th birthday in 2017, was present for the concert. The first part is lyrical and sonorous, exploring various musical soundworlds before a sudden change of pace introduces music of a more direct and energetic nature. The interval of a semitone, either falling or rising, is a key feature before the slower music returns to demonstrate the solo qualities of the double bass.

3. Armand Russell was premiered by David Heyes and Armand celebrated his 85th birthday in 2017. The music is rhythmic and full of forward propulsion, always interesting and inventive, with a fun theme which is employed in different registers and to add unity and cohesion. A number of rhythmic motives recur, creating music which is exciting and driven, and a fitting climax to the suite.

Bernard Salles was born in 1954 and began his musical education in his home town of Perpignan (France) where he studied double bass, organ, composition and orchestral conducting at the Conservatoire. In 1973 he want to the Conservatoire of Versailles and in 1976, at the age of 22, he was awarded a double bass teaching diploma. Since then he has taught at the Conservatoire of Pau (South-west France) and played with many major French orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris and the National Orchestra of France, under the direction of conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Metha and Lorin Maazel.

In 1983 he began a parallel career as a conductor and was Music Director of the Orchestra of Pau from 1996-2001. He has directed the Orchestra of Pamplona (Spain) and is currently Music Director of the OSSO (Orchestre Symphonique du Sud-Ouest).

As a composer and member of SACEM (Society of Authors, Composers and Editors of Music), he has written over 30 works including two symphonies, a cantata, a psalm for bass and orchestra, a concerto for double bass and small orchestra, Rhapsody for viola and orchestra, Triptych for orchestra, Prelude for cello and orchestra, a symphonic poem for soprano, cello and orchestra, as well as works for chamber groups, and for choir and organ. His pedagogic works are published by G.Billaudot in Paris and his works for double bass are published by Recital Music (England).

In 2010 he began a series of short pieces for unaccompanied double bass - Portraits for Friends - dedicated to his double bass playing friends.


  • 1. Tony Osborne
  • 2. John Alexander
  • 3. Armand Russell

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Cat No. RM948
Supplier Code RM948
Price £10.00
ComposerBernard Salles
CategoryDouble Bass Solo
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-948-3
EAN-13 9790570459483
Weight 106 grams
Published 18th May 2017
Availability 13 in stock
See also...
RM974  A Little Suite for Frantisek Posta