• Nico Muhly
  • Duet No 1 (Chorale Pointing Downwards) (2003)

  • St. Rose Music Publishing (World)
  • Viola, cello
  • 8 min

Programme Note

Duet No.1: 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.

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