27 April 2023


Solo bass is not something I know.  I hardly even remember a solo concerto I've heard live, and the solo bass is a different animal again.  Kyle Ramsay-Daniel blew me out yesterday with a solo bass concert at Wesley.  Now this is not a thing for particularly known works.  Other than the opener by Francois Rabbath, I only barely recognised a name but two that I looked for were on YouTube played by the composer.  And in this case, I guess all were composed by the premiere performer.  There's all manner of stylish, relevant bass techniques here - harmonics, double stops, various bowings, even jazz-like pizz - but perhaps the key is that deep, deep sound that permeates when the open E or A strings are played.  Otherwise, there's plenty in the mid-range but also plenty in the thumb positions and into the stratospheric harmonics, including some harmonic arpeggios and the like that were furious and ridiculously fast.  There were chords here, too, usually from double stops, but the movements could be pretty obvious to the ear.  And the tone was lovely.  Kyle uses one instrument for solo work, another for orchestral.  Common enough given the volume demands of orchestras.  This instrument was gloriously toned.  There was very occasionally the chance of slightly wobbly pitch even given Kyle's chops and experience but that's virtually unavoidable, for which I can only thank God,  as a fellow bassist, even one not nearly so adventurous.  Kyle is bringing a bass quartet to Wesley in a few weeks.  I can only drool.  BTW, Kyle played Rabbath, Xavier Foley, Hans Fryba, Nicholas Walker, David Anderson and Sam Suggs.

Kyle Ramsay-Daniel (bass) performed solo at Wesley,

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