Posts Tagged ‘Jan Alm’

October 13, North Shore Baptist Church

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

We’re on the schedule for a performance October 13, 2013 at North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago

ssslogoNorth Shore Baptist Church
5244 North Lakewood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

2:00 pm, with a reception following.

This program is part of North Shore Baptist’s Second Sunday series. Visit North Shore Baptist’s page for the series for more information about this concert and others in the Second Sunday Series.


  • Dan Armstrong’s “Wildebeests and Warthogs”
  • O magnum mysterium from “Three Spanish Motets” by Tomas Luis de Victoria, arranged by Michael Cameron
  • Teppa Hauta-Aho’s “Why?”
  • O vos homnes from “Three Spanish Motets”
  • Telemann’s Concerto #2 in D for four Violins — arranged for four basses in G
  • Jan Alm’s “Quartet #1”
  • O quam gloriosum est regnum from “Three Spanish Motets”
  • François Rabbath’s Poucha Dass (solo bass)
  • Lee Kesselman’s Basses Three (trio)
  • Paul Ramsier’s “Lullaby”
  • Tony Osborne’s “Rocket Man”
  • “A Night in Compostela” by Simon Garçia

People (alphabetically by third letter of first name):

  • Jacque Harper
  • John Floeter
  • Hans Peterman
  • Anton Hatwich

Creating a Program (for March 10, 2013)

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

One of the challenges of organizing a performance is to decide what to play and what order to play it in.

At the 2013 Chicago Bass Festival, we played a short concert. And I mean, really, short. When we got done and I looked at my watch, I realized that we would not have a full set for the March 10 performance. So we added a couple of pieces.

At our last rehearsal, I wanted to make sure we would have a program of a decent length. So I sketched out the pieces in what I think is a good order, and timed each piece as we ran through it. Add ’em up and we’re just under an hour of music. (See the column of figures in the picture below.) With some conversation in between pieces, this will be a nice concert.

Program for March 10, sketched out on the blackboard in our rehearsal space

Program for March 10, sketched out on the blackboard in our rehearsal space

The other aspect of a program is to try to have a nice flow from beginning to end. “Wildebeests and Warthogs” by Dan Armstrong is fun way to open the concert. It will show the versatility and flexibility of our instruments, and probably many audience members will be surprised at how nimble we can be. It’s a good opener.

Next, we move to transcriptions of motets by Tomas Luis da Victoria. This is a super sharp jump in style from “Wildebeests.” Arranged for bass quartet by Michael Cameron, these three motets will sound great in a nice resonant space.

As it turns out, one motif in this concert will be the movement across time — meaning across the eras in which pieces are written. Jan Alm‘s Kvartett is a contemporary piece, published in  1988. That’s followed up by the tender and short Lullaby by contemporary composer Paul Ramsier.

The peaceful mood laid out by Lullaby is however, short-lived. Because Teppo Hauta-Aho‘s Why? is a dark and brooding lament. It may be a bit of a shock! So we will probably insert a short period of conversation with the organizer of Sounds of the South Loop, Kim Diehnelt to put some space between these pieces.

Why? is so emotionally intense that I want to offset its impact before going on. At the Bass Festival, I programmed Lullaby to follow Why?. But I’ll be honest with you, that combination was really draining. I said as much from the stage at the festival. So this time, I’m following Why? with a transcription of a Georg Philipp Telemann sonata for four violins (TWV 40:202). It has the kind of motoric rhythm and simple, classical harmonies that should serve as an antidote for the passion of Teppo’s piece.

If you look at the image on the blackboard (yes, the Chicago Waldorf School is kind enough to let us use their music room as a rehearsal space, and they have big, beautiful blackboards, lovingly seasoned by the teachers–yes, there is an art to seasoning a blackboard, but that’s not our subject now), you’ll see “Fugues 9, 5.” Joel DiBartolo arranged two fugues from Bach’s second Well-Tempered Clavier. Since number five has a motif very very similar to the final movement of the Telemann sonata, I decided during our rehearsal to play the ninth fugue before the fifth, in order to avoid a repetitive feeling.

Finally, we’re reprising Tony Osborne‘s Rocket Man, a piece the Chicago Bass Ensemble had a hand in commissioning, and which we premiered last month. Due to its high energy and virtuosic playing, it’s a good closer!

So, that is a summary of my thinking behind the program. I’m posting this at 9:30 pm on Thursday, and haven’t taken the time to link all the pieces — though most of them do have links somewhere on the web. If you read this before I get back and add all the detail, you can enjoy finding more information via our friends at Google. I do intend to get back here shortly and add more links for you.

Cheers! I hope you enjoy Sounds of the South Loop on March 10!

– Jacque


(updated 8 March, 2013, with links for most of the composers, arrangers and pieces. Many links selected using the “hmm, that looks good even though I didn’t read it” method. You may use your discretion when following and reading.)

Second Presbyterian Church Chicago – March 10, 2013

Friday, February 8th, 2013

We’ll be playing at the Second Presbyterian Church, March 10, 2013.

2:30 pm

1936 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

This is the first season of a new music series at Second Presbyterian, Sounds of the South Loop. We’re honored to be a part of it!

Suggested donation ranges from $8 for seniors buying online up to $18 for non-seniors at the door. Follow the link above.


  • Dan Armstrong’s “Wildebeests and Warthogs”
  • “Three Spanish Motets” by Tomas Luis de Victoria, arranged by Michael Cameron
  • Jan Alm’s “Quartet #1”
  • Paul Ramsier’s “Lullaby”
  • Teppa Hauta-Aho’s “Why?”
  • Telemann’s Concerto #2 in D for four Violins — arranged for four basses in G
  • Two Bach Fugues arranged by Joel DiBartolo
  • Tony Osborne’s “Rocket Man”

I’ve written some thoughts about creating a program.

We’re also honored to have Michael Cameron joining us for this concert. Michael is a tremendous bassist. He has performed with many great ensembles and composers, and has a number of recordings to his name. And, if you were reading carefully above, you’ll see that he is an arranger and composer as well. You can read his full bio on his website. All you need to know now is what kind of car he drives, which you can find on our website.

Please visit this post again to learn of any updates to the program.

(Posted Friday, February 8; updated February 27; updated March 6 and 7)

Northside Youth Symphony, January 31, 2013

Monday, January 28th, 2013

A quickie update to our schedule – John Floeter, Hans Peterman and I will be performing as guest artists at the Northside Youth Symphony concert on January 31, 2013.

It’s a bit of a warm-up for our performance on Sunday at the Chicago Bass Festival (but different repertoire, if course).

Northside Youth Symphony
5501 N. Kedzie, Chicago

7:00 pm

We will perform

  • Lee Kesselman’s Basses Three
  • Jan Alm’s Trio in D
  • some other short trio pieces, from Bernard Salles collection.


First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights, January 15, 2012

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Sunday, January 15, 2012, 4:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights (link to music series)
302 North Dunton Ave, Arlington Heights 60004

Free admission with a free-will offering taken.

For this concert, we’ll be taking an old music/new music approach. There is a lot of great music being written NOW! for double basses, and we’ll play some of the nicest and most recent examples. Note: this does NOT mean the atonal or extremely challenging to the listener of so-called “modern” music! We will make two U.S. premieres of works by living composers.

Music from earlier times also adapts very well to the double bass quartet, so we will mix things up and do some of that music as well.

Program consists of:

  • Henry Purcell, arr. K. Stoll, Air and Dance
  • Tomas Luis de Victoria, arr. M. Cameron, Three Spanish Motets:
    O magnum mysterium, O quam gloriosum est regnum, O vos homnes
  • Hadyn, arr. A. Hatwich Adagio, for solo double bass with bass trio accompaniment.
  • Jan Alm, Quartet #1
  • Armand Russell, Ultra-Rondo (U.S. premiere)
  • Simón García, A Night in Compostela (U.S. premiere)
  • Jacque Harper
  • Anton Hatwich
  • Julian Pat Romane
  • Dan Thatcher
* in the spirit of blogging, I will update this list as plans firm up!
–program updated 7 and 8 December 2011
–confirmed U.S. premiere status on 12 December 2011
–program updated 27 December 2011
–order of program updated 14 January 2012

Updated Web Site for Jan Alm

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

We’re happy to have heard from our friend Jan Alm that his new website is up and running.

He describes himself as “Bass player, Teacher and Composer.” He has written several pieces we perform and which we enjoy a great deal.