Commissioned jointly by the BBC and Royal Philharmonic Society as part of Radio 3's New Generation Artists scheme. First performed by Danjulo Ishizaka and Martin Helmchen on 11 July 2007 at the City of London Festival.
Stuart MacRae’s Unity was first performed at the City of London Festival on 11 July 2007 by cellist Danjulo Ishizaka and pianist Martin Helmchen, and was written to exploit the musical relationship between these two players, who have performed together often. "This meant writing a piece,” says MacRae, "that would require a high degree of communication between the players in performance, and to that end the piece uses elements intended to disrupt the regularity of the tempo, such as long streams of grace-notes and very slow tempi. The piece is also a duo of equal partners (rather than, for example, a cello piece with piano accompaniment), with the distribution of foreground and background material shifting between the two players.”