• Rebecca Saunders
  • Fury II (2009)
    (Concerto for Solo Double Bass and Ensemble)

  • Henry Litolff’s Verlag GmbH & Co. KG (World)

Commissioned by Staatskapelle Dresden and Casa da Musica, Ensemble Remix

  • 5strdb + bcl/perc/pf/acn/vc
  • db + bcl/perc/pf/acn/vc
  • 5-string Double Bass (or 4-string Double Bass with C-extension)
  • 13 min

Programme Note

Fury means rage. An explosion of rage. Endeavouring to release an extreme energy. In a single breath. Fury II depicts a single state or condition, which was inspired by the five-string double bass: fascinated with the low pulsing sounds and the extensive percussive possibilities of the instrument; with the pronounced physicality and passionate gesture of the doublebass soloist.
Also the pronounced fragility of this instrument in the delicate and expressive upper-range - providing an antithesis, a shadow-world.

The intention was to expand the original Solo Fury, which was written for Antonio Aguiar of the Remix Ensemble in 2005, and to place it within a new framework. Accordion, piano, bassclarinet, violoncello and percussion merge with the solo voice creating a single timbral palette. The ensemble seeks to expand and amplify the solo line, pursuing various complex resonances and revealing new perspectives.

Despite the choleric nature of the sound material, silence is regarded as the canvas upon which all sounds surface out of, and disappear into. Fury II was conceived of as a melody, stretched to breaking point.


/´fjueri/ n. (pl. –ies)
1 a wild and passionate anger, rage. b a fit of rage (in a blind fury). c impetuosity in battle etc.
2 violence of a storm, disease, etc.
3 (Fury) (usu. in pl.) (in Greek mythology) each of three goddesses sent from Tartarus to avenge crime, esp. against kinship.
4 an avenging spirit. like fury colloq. with great force or effect. (ME f. OF furie f. L furia f. furere be mad)
The Concise Oxford Dictionary

Alternative version for 4-string double bass explored and prepared by the bassist Rebecca Lawrence, supervised by Paul Cannon.
Grateful thanks to Rebecca Lawrence for her excellent solutions.