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Works for double bass

For the past ten years Rick Stotijn has been making Stockholm his second home, finding musical inspiration as well as new friends there. The present disc is a reflection of this, with existing and new repertoire involving the double bass by composers who have all at some point lived and worked in the city.

The oldest work, as well as the best known, is the Concerto for Double Bass by Eduard Tubin, composed in 1948. Stotijn performs it here with the support of his own orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under James Gaffigan.

The other concerto on the disc was composed especially for Stotijn and for the violinist Malin Broman by Britta Byström. Infinite Rooms (2016) is a double concerto – in which the violinist switches between violin and viola – with inspiration from the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. It was awarded the most important Swedish composition prize, Stora Christ Johnson-priset, in 2020, and comes with three ‘Walks’, potential encores which can also serve as bridges to the next work during the concert, be it by Schubert, Bruckner or Strauss.

The orchestra heard in Infinite Rooms is the Västerås Sinfonietta, conducted by Simon Crawford-Phillips, who also appears on the disc in the role of pianist: Jesper Nordin’s Piano Trio, is an adaptation by the composer for these performers, of an earlier score for violin, cello and orchestra. Closing the disc is In memoriam by Carin Malmlöf-Forssling, a brief vocalise for soprano here transcribed for the double bass.

‘Rewarding, provocative music which serves to highlight Stotijn’s remarkably buoyant, vivid playing, shot through with a compelling sense of storytelling, and with effortless technical control that is invariably harnessed for deeply musical ends.’

— The Strad

‘Rick Stotijn is a most impressive player and the orchestra is brilliant. Fabulous unfamiliar music to whet one’s appetite.’

— Classical Music Daily

‘Tubin’s Double Bass Concerto is a thriller, a fine vehicle for Stotijn’s ability to invest even its lower registers with lyricism and some degree of brightness.’

— Gramophone

‘A fabulous musician with a charismatic character, ably promoting the double bass in all its exciting dimensions as an instrument in its own right. Byström’s Infinite Rooms is three-star Michelin food for the more adventurous music lover.’

— HR Audio

‘Swedish Radio Symphony’s Principal Double Bass plays with embracing warmth and lets his bass sing.’

— Opus Sweden

‘Rick Stotijn has an excellent view on Swedish music with a prominent role for double bass.’

— Volkskrant

‘In Tubin’s Concerto, Stotijn renders the role of virtuoso soloist with verve. In the other compositions, he shows that his double bass not only growls and buzzes but can also sing and swing like the best of them.’

— Klassieke Zaken