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Duet No 1: Chorale Pointing Downwards (2003)

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.

1 Comment

  • It was great seeing you at at the LA Master Chorale concert. This was the first of your music that I’ve heard. The LA Times review got it right. Your piece did not shine as bright as the rest of the concert. Your story about the plane ride home was a riot. I was in NY a few years ago for a gala at the Met. I took Ambien at the Hudson Hotel and ate a whole package of figs and went out to the vending area for a Doctor Pepper. I didn’t realize it until I woke up the next morning and found the plastic wrapper and pop can next to the bed.