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Hidden Duos was written in 2007 and was revised in 2014 after hearing the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra read through the score. It is for a small chamber orchestra of single woodwinds and brass, piano, percussion and strings. It is in two movements that play without a break – a Moderato followed by an Adagio, the latter essentially being a passacaglia.
The Moderato, subtitled ‘Dialogues and Conflict’, opens with a scrunching chord that forms the basic harmonic and melodic structure of the piece. The instruments constantly form ad hoc duets and these represent for the composer the various relationships we encounter in our lives, whether professional, family, personal or even spiritual. Some of these duos are subtle and not too obvious, hence the word ’hidden’ in the title.
The Adagio movement acts as a calm resolution to the first movement, building to a dramatic climax, followed by a meditative coda.
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