21st August 2007
Musgrave has composed for both soloists several times in the past (including the marimba concerto Journey through a Japanese Landscape and oboe concerto Helios), but combining these two very different instruments in a single work presented particular challenges. “I decided that I would strongly dramatize this difference before bringing them harmoniously together,” says the composer. “Thus at the beginning of the work the two soloists are standing as far apart from each other as possible: the percussion downstage right, behind the celli, and the oboe off stage left. For each of the four ensuing sections the soloists move around the orchestra to different positions and these changes are always dramatically motivated. Throughout the two soloists are aware of each other and play with each other's attention, but only come together musically and physically in the very last section.”
Read the Two’s Company programme note.