Triple Duo, for an ensemble of six musicians, is a work, as its name implies, that treats the group as three pairs of instruments: flute/clarinet, violin/cello, piano/percussion. Each of these pairs has its own repertory of ideas and moods. This free fantasy involves various contrasts, conflicts and reconciliations between the three duos. Triple Duo was composed during 1982 in Waccabuc, New York.
Hearing Elliott Carter’s Triple Duo is always exhilarating, whether the encounter is the first or the twentieth. This is Collage’s third performace of Triple Duo, and we think this performance of a major work by one of our most inventive (and, at 103 years old, still prolific) composers will be even more scintillating, terrifying, and thrilling than ever. Along with Schoenberg’s iconic Pierrot lunaire, Triple Duo stands at the heart of any contemporary chamber ensemble’s musical diet. And, like Pierrot, it bubbles with lunacy, here the light-hearted variety, a rollicking party of rapid-fire taunting, teasing, and sometimes intimate conversations that bounce among and within its three pairs of instruments—flute-clarinet, violin-cello, and piano-percussion. Every performance of this music that was created in 1982(!) brings out the new in its listeners and performers. Such is our hallmark, since no matter when the music was conceived, yesterday or yesteryear, it’s always Collage New Music.