Concerto for Bass Guitar and Orchestra (vinyl)
Robert Groslot

Concerto for Bass Guitar and Orchestra (vinyl)

Thomas Fiorini | Brussels Philharmonic

Label: Antarctica
Format: LP 12inch
Barcode: 0608917733525
Catalog number: AR 035
Releasedate: 07-10-22
- one of the first concerto's for bass guitar and orchestra
- composer Robert Groslot
Brussels Philharmonic bassist, Thomas Fiorini realizes his dream: a bass guitar concerto. The vinyl will be out on May 6th, but today you can already listen to the full album via your favourite streamingplatform. Also available as immersive audio on Apple Music, Tidal and Amazon Music.

The idea of a concerto for bass guitar is something that I have been dreaming of for decades.  Since its invention, the bass guitar has firmly established itself as an essential and integral part of practically every genre of music. The bass guitar, as we now know it, was invented and produced by Leo Fender starting in 1951.  The more portable bass guitar, in comparison to the large and unwieldy double bass, was capable of playing at higher volumes via amplification and satisfied the new sonic demands created by the widespread use of electrification in popular music. By increasing the overall scale of the electric guitar and only using the lowest four strings (E, A, D, G), Fender gave birth to a new instrument. Traditional double bassists could quickly adapt, with the added benefit of more accurate intonation due to the frets.  Hence the original name: The Precision Bass. At the same time, guitarists could also become bass players when called upon. As a result, many of the early bass guitarists began their musical life as guitar players, with the most well-known example being Paul McCartney of The Beatles.
The fact that the bass guitar had no direct lineage like the evolution of the piano or violin over time, led to a variety of disparate playing styles without any fundamental methodology. Unlike the more traditional instruments, the bass guitar does not sit upon a foundation of centuries of proven methods and established schools of playing. The evolution of the bass guitar has been a patchwork of trial and error by active musicians. This has led to a plethora of personal approaches and hybrid-styles, effectively leading to the rapid evolution of bass guitar technique. Given its relatively young history, it is remarkable how the bass guitar has grown from being an instrument taken up out of necessity, or as an afterthought, to being as respected and vital to modern music as any of the older, more established instruments.
The bass guitar is now finally finding its way into contemporary classical music. In 2014, bassist Victor Wooten collaborated with composer Conni Ellisor on a concerto for bass guitar and orchestra titled “The Bass Whisperer”. Finnish composer and bassist Lauri Porra composed and premiered “Entropia” for bass guitar and orchestra in 2015. And composer Fausto Romitelli used the bass guitar to great effect in his modern masterpiece “An Index Of Metals”.
Now, Robert Groslot’s Concerto for Bass Guitar and Orchestra represents the next step in the evolution of the bass guitar. Groslot’s composition pushes the instrument to its technical limits, while creating a unique symbiosis between the soloist and the orchestra. Although he may not be the first composer to write for the bass guitar in a symphonic setting, Groslot brings a level of artistry and sophistication to the composition that will continue and accelerate the legitimation of the bass guitar within contemporary classical music.
Thomas Fiorini