• Thea Musgrave
  • From One to Another II (1970)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • str(
  • viola
  • 10 min

Programme Note

This work was originally written for solo viola and electronic tape. It was conceived as a companion piece to Elegy composed in April 1970 during the composer's residency at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Both works grew out of one simple idea, a rather somber chord heard at the outset, but which soon gives way to more dramatic and virtuosic music. The source sounds for the Tape version of this work were taken entirely from pre-recorded viola and then treated electronically. The tape is thus not just an adaptation of what could be played live by another viola, though it retains enough of the original sound to match or blend with the live instrumentalist. The whole idea was that the live performer closely interacts with what is on the tape. Hence the title.

In this new version, composed in 1980, the soloist interacts with the orchestra in a similar way. The fact that the tape was made based on string sounds is what made it possible to rethink the work in terms of string orchestral sound. It was interesting to find that though the tape was built from the recorded sound of ONE viola, the recomposition of the material had to be for full string orchestra to achieve the same variety and weight of sound.