• Find us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • View Our YouTube Channel
  • Listen on Spotify
  • View our scores on nkoda

Although the first version of the Duo was composed in 1998, I rewrote it completely for Giedre Dirvanauskaite and Daniel Grishin who premiered it at Lockenhaus festival 2011. The sub-title, ‘After Ossip Mandelstam’, refers to a short poem from his 1910 collection Kamen’ (Stone), which underlies my piece: not only is this poem my epigraph, it is also quoted all along within the instrumental context. Here are a few lines from the English and German translations:Ears stretch sensitive sails,dilated eyes lose fire,over the silence swimsthe night-birds’ soundless choir.Das Ohr – ein feingespanntes Segel,der Blick taucht fragend-leer empor,der Stille mitternächtge Vögelziehn durch die Luft als stummer Chor.But obviously no translation can transmit the breath of this poetry, its respiration. It is exactly what I attempted to do through a musical reading that starts and ends with this breath. In the first movement, it is initiated by the Viola, which follows the 'choir', played by the Cello with a vertically positioned bow. So, the emergence, at the end of this movement, of the real sound marks the entrance into metaphorical spectrum.The second movement has a concentric form where the voiceless choir of the first movement is developed in the central section.The final movement, Adagietto, adjusts the respiration, like a regular pace – a reference to J. S. Bach. The coda, finally, goes back to the initial breath. Victor Kissine

Stay updated on the latest composer news and publications