for Nadia Sirota
Viola & Cello
Duet No1: Chorale Pointing Downwards is the first in a series of short string pieces that serve as harmonic and technical studies for both composer and performers. Duet No 1 is constructed around a cycle of fourteen chords repeated almost without stopping throughout the work. However, the cycle is subject to several simple rhythmic processes and two cryptic interruptions and, by the middle, assumes a sort of fervent perpetual-motion perseverance. Here, I attempted to convey a kind of harmonic rapture with technical reserve (music that sounds like a string exercise). The piece ends slowly and quietly, with a series of ascending and descending scales trailing the fourteen chords behind them. Duet No 1 is dedicated to Nadia Sirota with great thanks.