2×1

Premiere: 10 September 2011 at Razzo Hall, Worcester, MA. Peter Sulski and Mark Berger, violists

Duration: ca. 14′

Instrumentation: 2 violas

Score: View score

Performance Note: 2×1 was written for the violists Peter Sulski and Mark Berger in the summer of 2011 and premiered by them on 10 September 2011 in Razzo Hall in Worcester, MA. The piece falls into three virtuoso movements, titled “Engine,” “Waves,” and “Wind,” respectively.

The form of the entire composition is modeled very closely on the first Mozart Duo for violin and viola (K. 423), which, along with its companion piece (the Duo K. 424), are to my mind the ultimate summits of the viola chamber music repertoire. Accordingly, the first movement falls into a kind of sonata form (though lacking the traditional tonic-dominant harmonic relationships). The second movement is in a ternary form (ABA) and takes great advantage of the lyrical capabilities of two violas playing together. The finale is written in a Rondo form (ABACABA) that manages the feat of alluding to both Mozart and Bartok at once.