Sonata Appassionata (violin and 'cello)

duration 16 minutes

1. Lento melancolico - Doppo movimento, delicato
2. Lontano desiderio

3. Nervoso - spingente

Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, murdered his unfaithful wife. The music that he composed subsequently seems to encapsulate his guilt, grief and passion. This duo takes as its starting point the opening of possibly his most famous madrigal, Moro, lasso, al mio duolo (Libro Quinto 1611).

I do not intend it as programme music and it certainly does not tell a story, but perhaps it instead explores a certain mental state.

There are three movements, the first opening with an impassioned violin solo and developing through delicate, wistful, yearning strains towards a fuller climax. The second begins in distant, haunting tones, but there comes a moment of heightened feeling, almost aggression, before the temper dissipates. The finale is full of short-breathed, snatched, nervous and insistent energy.

The duo is dedicated to my dear friends from Ukraine, Ostap and Olga Shutko.

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