Duologue - Three Studies


oboe and piano
Oboe/Cor Anglais

Commissioned by Nicholas Daniel and Julius Drake

First Performance
16.6.91, Wigmore Hall, London: Nicholas Daniel/Julius Drake

Score and part 0-571-51707-2 on sale (with Night-Spell)

Programme Notes

Colin Matthews Duologue (1991) Duologue was written at the request of Nicholas Daniel and Julius Drake in the late spring of 1991, and first performed by them in June at a Wigmore Hall concert to celebrate the tenth year of their duo partnership. I was writing very much against time, and since Nick and I are both devotees of new technology, I faxed each page of the manuscript to him as soon as it was completed, receiving encouraging faxed replies by return, often in the middle of the night. The urgency of the composition is probably most evident in the pace of the first movement, a kind of moto perpetuo which requires a soloist with iron lungs; by contrast the second movement is very still and quiet, with decorative melismas from both piano and oboe (many of whose notes are ‘bent’, using quarter tones). The finale is a gently satirical attempt to review the ‘finale problem’ – perhaps best explained by saying that this is something well known to composers. Having recently made a realization of the Mozart ‘Musical Dice Game’ I composed a number of small blocks of rather predictable material for the piano, then threw dice in order to put them into an unpredictable sequence. The oboe does not know what is going on, and its attempts to join in are generally frustrated until finally the pair of them do get together, only to bring about an abrupt ending. Colin Matthews

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