• Carl Vine
  • Café Concertino (1984)
    (Cafe Concertino)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • fl.cl/pf/vn.va.vc
  • 11 min

Programme Note

Café Concertino revolves around a simple cycle of fifths. Although in a single movement, the work contains four distinct sections. The first interprets the series C-G-D-A-E-B as a C major tonality, and the following series (F#-C#-G#-D#-A#-E#) as an F# major tonality. The complementary series of [Eb-Bb-F-C-G-D] and [A-E-B-F#-C#-G#] give the remaining tonal centres of A and Eb major respectively. This approach to fifths and the consequent tritones (C-F#, Eb-A) continues through each section, with an emphasis on creating tonal ambiguity through chord inversion and octave doubling. The tonal "centre" of the second section is A, while in the third F# major and Eb minor are visited alternately. The final section is a recapitulation centring on the tritone and its derivation from the cycle of fifths.

Although overtly academic in structure, Café Concertino gleans much of its gestural material from chamber music of the last century, not always with due reverence.

Café Concertino was commissioned by the Australia Ensemble with assistance from the Music Board of the Australia Council. It was first performed by the Australia Ensemble at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, on the 16th November, 1984.