These pieces were written in the Spring of 2001 in Houston, Texas. Coming off a slew of large-scale compositions, I turned to smaller forms for some much-needed refreshment. The pieces in this set were written as preludes, and each explores a single musical idea. The opening piece, marked “subdued,” uses only the motive heard at the outset as its material. The next piece is a drive toward a simple melody and a subsequent dissolution of the tune. The third piece is a conversation concerning a gritty motive. The fourth piece, in which both violin and viola are locked together, is a chorale heard through a thick haze. The angst-inspired fifth piece centers around a short ostinato. The last piece is an imaginary dance in which the partners begin together, then part, and finally return for the finish.
Christine Wu and Daniel Strba gave the premiere of these pieces in Houston in 2002.
No. 2, “Allegro,”
Christine Wu, violin
Daniel Strba, viola
Six Short Pieces for Violin and Viola
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