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Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Ensemble

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Josh Trentadue

Josh Trentadue

General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: c. 20-25 minutes
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: M.O.T.I.F.
Cost: Contact composer


1. Aloft on a Rock
2. Land of the Free
3. The Sea
4. Never Sleeping


Full Score
Solo Double Bass
Oboe/English Horn
E-flat Alto Saxophone/B-flat Soprano Saxophone
C Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • China Cymbal
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Drum Set
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-toms
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Vibraslap
  • Whip
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

It was an absolute joy to have been given the opportunity to write this concerto for a fantastic colleague and artist, Matthew Gibson. When he first approached me about writing a piece of this nature, I immediately recognized the bass's rich musical background from a number of fantastic pieces that highlighted the instrument's superhuman artistic and technical qualities. Within the role of the soloist in particular, the bass's ability to leap and bound between all sorts of ranges and techniques created an entirely new character altogether, separate from its general ensemble role of establishing the foundational harmonies through ... well, the bass line. In the end, I was incredibly eager to begin work on this concerto and add to what is hopefully a unique contribution to the instrument's vast repertoire.

This Concerto for Double Bass envisions an abstract, dreamlike road trip throughout the American countryside, with each of the four movements representing a different area of the country's diverse landscape. The bass, while functioning as the soloist, sonically assumes the role of the leader (or "tourist") partaking in this journey. Joining the soloist is a relatively small chamber ensemble consisting of only winds, brass, piano, and percussion, making the bass the only string instrument of its kind in the group. A main theme connects the concerto together formally, appearing right at the beginning of this journey and transformed frequently throughout each movement.

The title of the first movement, Aloft on a Rock, is the Kiowa translation of the famous monolith in Wyoming, Devil's Tower. Evoking the majestic canyons and mountains of the West, it serves as an introduction to the concerto with a grand sense of adventure and wonder. The second movement, Land of the Free, leads away from this territory into more monumental ground in the veins of a historical documentary. A jaunty sea shanty is the tune for the third movement, The Sea, conjuring up images of the summer beachside while acknowledging the historical adventures taken by past voyagers with a rendition of the folk song O Shenandoah. The fun abruptly ends with the wild, chaotic, and sometimes overwhelming energy of the bustling cityscape conjured in the fourth movement, Never Sleeping, with so much to do and little time to experience it all in a restless paradise.

I owe a large debt of thanks and gratitude to Matt for his never-ending support, positivity, and extraordinary musicianship throughout the entire collaborative process and in the creation of this concerto. This experience has been both fruitful and rewarding at every step of the journey.

- Program Note by composer

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.



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