Balm is a tranquil sonatina. By rolling and taping a small slip of paper (10 X 10cm), one can fashion a tube to insert in the foot of the bass that enables the production of the low e in the last bar. (See accompanying photos.) Repeated notes marked with dashes under a slur are to be articulated with a gently pulsing breath (equivalent to louré bowing) rather than with the tongue. Eighth-notes are to be played with a slight lilt. The piece makes no notable technical demands. Duration: 4:40
Performing on the present recording are: Janos Ungvary, alto; Takayo Shimoda, tenor; the composer, bass; Scott Paterson, great bass.
-- Anthony St. Pierre
Emotions run high in this beautiful and easily playable quartet. If there’s a Great Bass in your group, you MUST download this one and give it a go! You’ll come away from the experience a completely changed person. It’s fully concert-ready and will cause the audience to spontaneously gasp and hug their neighbor. One technical anomaly is the request in the Bass part to insert a tube into the bell that will bring the low F down to an E for the very last chord. The composer makes the request fairly early on, but if you’re quick you could also do it during the rests right before it’s needed. A Great Bass could play the Bass part (requiring TWO Great Basses in that case), with just a couple high B’s and B-flats to contend with.