Dedicated to the memory of Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991) in his centenary year (2007), and also to his beloved Lake District and Fells. The three movements and two short preludes evoke the beauty and grandeur of the landscape, showing Tony Osborne at his most descriptive.
An inventive quartet which offers musical and technical challenges within a lyrical and accessible idiom. Premiered at Wells Cathedral School in 2007, this also exists in an edition for double bass quartet (RM313).
Wainwright's Ways was commissioned by David Heyes with funds kindly provided by The Ida Carroll Trust.
Alfred Wainwright MBE, known as 'AW', Master Fellwalker, Author, Draughtsman, Artist, was one of those quiet heroes who became a national figurehead through his passionate love of the beautiful fells, valleys and lakes of the North of England.
Through his television and radio broadcasts, books and meticulous illustrations about his long life of beloved walks, Wainwright's name became synonymous with all that these breathtaking places offer to all, as well as the 192 mile 'Coast to Coast' route from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay that he pioneered. There has even been a specially brewed Ale named after him!
This piece is dedicated to the centenary of his birth in Blackburn, Lancashire in 1907, and as a tribute to his wife Betty, who was Lifetime President of the Wainwright Society.
The first of its five sections: 'Orrest Head' is named after the place near Windermere where he first fell in love with the Lake District. It is flowing and gentle, like the hymns he used to sing on his way, but powerful and full of the romance of the hills.
The second is a brief interlude: 'The Call of the Fells and Lakes'. In a more lilting mood, it reflects the quiet and simple joy that they brought to Wainwright and that he in turn brought to others.
The third: 'Haystacks', Wainwright's resting place, near Buttermere, where his ashes are scattered, and one of his favourite places. Just peace and beauty.
The fourth: 'Interlude 2 - High Peaks and Mountain Mists' describes the sense of wonder and majesty of these timeless views.
The last movement: 'Pennine Journey', is a lively, marching finale that reflects the title of the book that describes a walk that Wainwright first made in 1938, and also celebrates the freedom of walking in some of the world's most beautiful places.
This piece is an appreciation of the legacy of a truly noble individual who communicated his love of the power and beauty of nature to millions.
Wainwright's Ways - Coast to Coast was premiered at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset, UK) on 30 September 2007.
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 is planning a major festival 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.