A Duet for Cellos (1991)
for Two Cellos
Duration: 7 min.
Premiere: 2011; M. Neuman; M. Hamburg; Scarsdale, NY
When my String Quartet No. 4 was performed and recorded by the Alorian Quartet at Oberlin College in 1991, invaluable assistance was provided by Jeff Irvine and Lynne Ramsey, who are husband and wife as well as violists. As a token of appreciation, I wrote A Duet for Violas. Not knowing their tastes, I decided to write in a style similar to that of the quartet they had come to know. Accordingly, the music is contrapuntal and fairly severe. The work lasts some eight minutes in a slow-fast sequence. Listeners who know my music may find it hard to believe that the duet begins with a 12-note permutation, or row, but I assume they will be relieved to know that nothing in the continuation and development resembles serial treatment. (Notes by Arnold Rosner)
In 2011, Rosner’s frequent collaborator and longtime friend, cellist Maxine Neuman, made a transcription (with the composer’s input) for two cellos.