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Julia Wolfe

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Stronghold (for eight doublebasses) (2008)
Red Poppy
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
17 Minutes
Programme Note
Julia Wolfe Stronghold (for eight doublebasses) (2008)
Composer note:
Stronghold was written for Robert Black and premiered by his group The Hartt Bass Ensemble. While working with Robert I discovered that the bass had a limitless universe of expressive possibilities rarely explored. Yes it has those great low notes, but you won’t hear any until halfway through the piece. Stronghold starts with webs of rolling harmonics, very high overtones that take advantage of the long length of the strings, and ends with thick resonant sounds created when the bow is heavily pressed into the low open E string. With 8 basses going at once the ensemble turns into one mega bass, and it’s hard to tell where one player ends and another begins.

— Julia Wolfe

Related works:
   Stronghold (for doublebasses and audio)


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