Co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall, with the generous support of The Marchus Trust, and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, with financial assistance from the Arts Council, Britten-Pears Foundation and other individuals through BCMG’s Sound Investment Scheme
Scored for solo piano and duos of flute and clarinet and violin and cello with harp and percussion, my intention was to create an intimate piece which is as much about chamber music as moments of great virtuosity and stillness.
The piece is also a sort of mini homage to Elliott Carter and Pierre Boulez. Two works that are very close to my heart are Carter’s Triple Duo and sur Incises by Boulez. Consequently, the flute and clarinet and violin and cello are always treated as separate duos and the music each duo plays is often in contrast to the other in mood, speed, texture or gesture. Used sparingly throughout, these strands collide and interact at various points and in a range of ways throughout the piece. The percussion and harp, inspired by sur Incises (which is scored for three pianos, three harps, and three percussion) act as a kind of extension to the piano, often expanding on, amplifying or echoing it.
The piece is cast in three movements; the second and third movements transform and reflect on the material in the opening movement in different ways.
Programme note © 2017 Helen Grime