No 18 Triple Concerto for 8 musicians (2003)

For ensemble

Commissioned by: Maarten Altena Ensemble, with financial support from the Netherlands Fund for the Creation of Music
First Performance: Maarten Altena Ensemble, March 2003, BIM huis, Amsterdam
Instrumentation: recorders, clarinet/bass clarinet, trombone, violin, double bass, electric guitar, piano & percussion.
Duration: 18'

Score samples

Info/Program note:
The Triple Concerto, only a ‘Triple Concerto’ in name, in the sense that a variable trio of guitar, violin and piano take the lead and basically have more to do than the others - came after a period in which my work could be characterized by a hard, abrasive and angular esthetic. The Triple Concerto aimed at the opposite: a work in which all corners and edges would be blurred and time could stand relatively still. Hence the piece ended up abounding in very fast and uncontrollable tremoli, trills and ostinati.

Originally designed to have three movements, the work eventually ended up with only two: a first part, consisting of a canonically designed sequence of 33 harmonic progressions, each orchestrated individually and consisting of only four pitches (A-C-D and E); and a second part, which transposes down a minor third, adds the 7th to the gamut and basically doubles the speed of the harmonic progressions by alternating them over two lines. (The abandoned third part doubled this process once again, dropping another minor third and adding the 9ths and 11ths, eventually resulting in a pandemonium of suspensions). Due to its entirely consonant character and the feeling of returning to a modal harmonic language the two parts were subsequently dubbed Harmonic Regression 1 and Harmonic Regression 2.

The Triple Concerto is dedicated to my good, but sadly deceased, friend Paul Termos: one of the finest composers to be active in the Netherlands prior to his untimely death in 2003.