Duo for Violin and Piano (1993) by Wayne Peterson
for violin and piano
Earplay commission

I. Toccata (poco agitato)
II. Adagio
III. Scherzo (light and jazzy)

There are three interconnected movements played without pause: a Toccata (poco agitato); Adagio; and a Scherzo (light and jazzy). The nervous, highly charged and technically challenging opening sets the tone for the Toccata. Eventually the impetuous nature of this music succumbs rather prematurely to the full-blown lyricism of the Adagio. As the violin brings to ultimate fruition its sustained ideas a brief transition, begun by spiky, irregular rhythms in the piano, serves to shatter the calm and proceed to the final movement. Beginning with jazz motifs (quotes from Bebop standards, Bill Evans and Errol Garner) the spirit is now light and buoyant. Gradually the music intensifies, taking on an ever greater urgency as material returns from the Toccata and undergoes further development. After a furious climax an accelerating coda brings the Duo to a resounding close.

— W. P.    

[from program for November 12, 2007 concert]