COMPOSER 1945–2013

Opus 94

A Duet for Violas (1991)

for Two Violas

Duration: 7 min.

Dedication: to Jeff Irvine and family

Recording: Albany TROY210

Premiere: 1993; J. Irvine; L. Ramsay; XXII Int’l Viola Congress; Northwestern Univ.

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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)