Hommage à Fabergé

Written for New Music on the Point

Instrumentation: two violins

Duration: ca. 6'

First performed: June 17th, 2019 by Austin Wulliman (JACK Quartet) and Nicholas Bentz at New Music on the Point 2019 (Brandon, VT)

Program Note

This work takes inspiration from the intricate, ornamental beauty of the jeweled Easter eggs created by Peter Carl Fabergé for the Russian tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II. The work is loosely palindromic in structure, in five continuous sections. The outer sections are distinguished by the presence of a cantabile melody set against oscillating accompanimental textures; both of these elements stay more or less in the high register of the instruments. The second and fourth sections, in contrast, explore the lowest register of the violins in two different ways—the second section features rapid, violent, twisting figurations, and the fourth section is more languid and melancholy. Throughout these four sections, the instruments are very much intertwined, closely following one another in register. Only in the short central section of the work do the two instruments separate and take turns trading independent lines back and forth.

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