The Night before Christmas
“I wrote this piece for the great bassist and friend, David Heyes, who needed original repertoire for double bass and piano for a Christmas recital in December 2013. I found it interesting to explore the “Christmas sounds” on the double bass and decided to write a piece where the solo bass part is played entirely in harmonics throughout, to convey the sweetness and warmth of Christmas time.
A one bar introduction transports us speedily into a happy home, as if we have travelled with Charles Dickens´s Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present. The piece aims to portray the innocence and jollity of children at this festive time of year and has two main themes. The first theme conveys the happy home, the heat of the fire in the fireplace while it’s snowing outside, and the children are restless and excited on Christmas eve.
The second theme is the calm of the night, all the family are sleeping, you can only hear the ticking of the clock and this is the moment before Santa Claus climbs down the chimney. The first theme recurs, with some variation, describing the time when the children find their gifts next morning. It´s early and the bells announce Christmas day.” [Simón García]
The Night before Christmas is dedicated to David Heyes, who arranged the piece for double bass quartet for his students at Wells Cathedral School. The version for double bass and piano was premiered on 18 December 2013 as part of the Weymouth Lunchtime Chamber Concerts series at St Mary’s Church (Weymouth, Dorset) by David Heyes (double bass) and Duncan Honeybourne (piano).
It received its Spanish premiere on 27 January 2014 at the Conservatorio Profesional (A Coruna) by Antonio Romero Cienfuegos (double bass) and José Manuel Yáñez Carballeira (piano).