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Pebbles: Complete Works for Violin & Piano


(Written for Sabat/Clarke); Duo for Violinist and Pianist (2 versions) -- Sabat/Clarke Duo. Composer supervised recordings. "Duo for violinist and pianist (1961) has structural parts which are repeatable and whose sequence is determined by cues -- a particular sound (e.g.) high violin pizzicato, very quiet low register sound on piano, or length of silence -- which, as a player, reaches the end of a structural part, determines what part must directly be played next. Each player, under determined conditions, proceeds independently (there is no fixed score relating to the two instruments). The cues from the one player to the other occur in the process of playing; neither players knows when what she plays will function as a cue, i.e. cannot control where the other player will play. The material of the structural parts is flexible and, if repeated, variable. Within time spaces (e.g. 4 seconds, 1/2 second, etc.) sounds may be chosen from variously specified sources, collections of pitches, dynamics, ways of playing and combined and distributed variably. There are also places in the music where individual sounds are coordinated between the players, for instance, violin plays a sound that must be sustained till the piano's next sound is heard (which is not for the violinist predictable), or the pianist must wait until the next sound from the violin ends, then play directly after. This may sometimes result in an impasse: piano cannot play until the violin stops playing while the violin cannot stop until the piano plays. This can be taken as the end of the piece's performance, as it is on this recording for the two versions of the piece played, in one case the impasse not happening till after some time, in the other coming much sooner. I think of the music of the Duo as resulting from the conditions of the piece's being performed, both fluid and requiring a highly focused and flexibly alert attention."