Duo Concertante

Allen Brings

About this work:
Duo concertante for cello and piano is based on a plan that provides each participant with opportunities either to compete separately or to co-operate simultaneously. When appearing separately, each part attempts to respond to what has gone before by developing a character unique to itself. The improvisatory nature of the rhythm which typifies such passages contrasts with that found in passages where both parts combine to form short, continually evolving pjhrases based on rhythmic groups of two, three, and four beats. Typical also of passages where the two parts co-operate is the way in which strands of the polyphonic texture often pass from one part to the other so that the presence of each part is complementary and therefore necessary. Cast in one movement, Duo concertante nevertheless consists of several clearly defined sections having an order similar to that of the rondeau of the Middle Ages or the rondo of the Classical Period. Here, however, the letter "A" designates a ritornello, the dominant feature of which is a sustained cello solo, rather than a "theme-group." An analysis of the pitch usage that reflects my own intentions in composing Duo conertante would emphasize how pitch creates purposeful movement from goal to goal and how dynamics, articulation and rhythm contribute to the perception of this motion. Both proximate and remote goals would be considered as would the different treatment accorded pitch in successive sections. While drawing attention to the structure of Duo concertante, I would not have it ignored as poetry, for it was principally to create a work of enduring aesthetic appeal, not only the fascination with shaping musical materials, that compelled me to undertake its composition in the first place. Completed on November 6, 1968, Duo concertante was first performed by cellist Alexander Kouguell and pianist Morey Ritt on May 17, 1971, at a concert arranged by region II of the American Society of University Composers in McMillin Theater at Columbia University. It was later recorded by Peter Rosenfeld and Morey Ritt for Capstone Records in its Society of Composers series (CPS-8615). It is published by Mira Music Associates (score and part available from Mira Music Associates;. contact: miramusic@aol.com)and appears in an autograph edition in volume VI of ASUC Journal of Music Scores.
Version: cello & piano
Year composed: 1968
Duration: 00:12:21
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Keyboard plus One Instrument
Instrumentation: 1 Piano, 1 Cello
Purchase materials: miramusic@aol.com

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