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Angel Fire Duo (2014)

for violin and viola



Program Note

Angel Fire Duo for Violin and Viola was written in 2014. It is commissioned by Music from Angel Fire with the support of the Bruce E. Howden, Jr. American Composers Project and Friends of the Festival. The premiere was given by Ida Kavafian, Violin, and Steven Tenenbom, Viola, on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, at Angel Fire Community Center, New Mexico.

The inspiration of the work largely comes from knowing that the work would be premiered by two wonderful virtuoso musicians, the wife-and-husband team of Ida and Steven. Even (or especially) in a love duo, a couple has to listen to each other all the time, just like in a good relationship. Yet there are also tensions and frictions which need to be resolved. Ultimately, the two must sing together and at the same time express themselves individually: just like in a good relationship.

Except for the third movement which was based on a Chinese folk song from Shandong Province, musically the work was freely-composed, in which I hope my multi-cultural baring would somehow seep through.

The work is dedicated to Pam, my dear wife.



—Bright Sheng