Five Études for One-and-a-half Instruments

Programme Note

Five Études for One-and-a-half Instruments is an exploration of the different relationships that can be imagined between the viola and the piano. The first and third movements, ‘Perpetuum Mobile’ and ‘Gigue’, are both labelled ‘Monody’. They have in common the property – unusual in a piece for more than one instrument – that there is never more than one note played simultaneously. This leads to an extreme transparency of texture, and the impression that, despite the scoring for two instruments, the music consists of one single line. The second and fourth movements, ‘Aria’ and ‘Pastorale’, are labelled ‘Duet’. In these movements, the instruments play much more independently from each other, with the piano providing accompaniments to sustained viola melodies. The final movement, ‘Tarantella’, mediates between these two types of relationship, and contains elements of both.

Year: 2018
Duration: 9′
Instrumentation: Viola, Piano

1. Monody 1: Perpetuum Mobile
2. Duet 1: Aria
3. Monody 2: Gigue
4. Duet 2: Pastorale
5. Somewhere in Between: Tarantella


15th August 2016
Francesca McNeeley, George Fu
Chamber Music Hall, Tanglewood, USA