What a wonderful introduction for the Appalachian Journey album! Something about this particular track stands out significantly to me, and I cannot quite put my finger on it.
Though you really should check out the entire album, this particular track can be heard here.
A Brief Overview of Meyer
Edgar Meyer knows what is going on in music, whether you have heard of him or not. He is a visiting professor at the Curtis Institute of Music, a recipient of the enigmatic MacArthur Award, as well as a Grammy. The virtuosity he has achieved on the bass is astounding, more so once you consider that the bass is rarely an instrument considered to have virtuosos on with which to begin.
Of course, he is one of those people who began studying music at a very young age (4!), and is not only an accomplished performer, but also an established composer, having a number of "unusual" concerti in his catalogue, include three double bass concerti, a violin concerto for Hilary Hahn, and two double concerti—one for bass and cello (Yo-yo Ma), the other for bass and violin (Joshua Bell)—and a smattering of chamber pieces.
A bit about the piece
The fun thing about this piece is that it features the bass in a very wide register, including a little riffing section with the cello. Its drive is quite appealing to those more inclined to a Adams-esque minimalism, yet the section breaks give it a really nice, defined structure with some complementing contrast to keep the piece interesting for those who need a bit more change throughout their listening. A giant plus is that it is for violin, cello, and bass, which is not exactly a common instrumentation, but definitely a group that could be pulled together.
What is completely obnoxious about this piece is that no one can purchase it to program it. Boosey & Hawkes owns Edgar Meyer's catalogue, and has not released this piece for sale (they have been sitting on it for well over a decade). So good luck trying to program this ever (if you happen to have an in and can sell me the sheet music for this piece, I want it!). The one benefit to this is that, since no one can buy it, no one can perform it, which means the one irrefutable definitive recording for the work is still only available on the Appalachian Journey album as played by Yo-yo Ma, Mark O'Connor, and Edgar Meyer.
None the less, definitely a fun piece to have in one's listening repertoire!