Duration: 5:00 minutes
Instrumentation: cello and piano
Premiere: May 4, 2012 at the Juilliard School by Hiro Matsuo, cello and Carlos Avila, piano
This brief duo for cello and piano was written to fit between Lutosławski’s Sacher Variations and Brahms’ Second Cello Sonata. Since it was written for this particular occasion, it is an intermezzo in two senses of the word: it literally goes between two things, but it also nods towards the 19th century character piece (of which Brahms wrote notable examples). In my Intermezzo, I began with a “resolution” of the final Lutoslawski chord to a series of simple minor chords played on the piano to which the cello answers with a brief melodic idea. The piece builds to a dramatic climax by developing those two simple ideas before returning to a haunting memory of the opening section.