Métal, Terre, Eau (1982) by Tôn-Thât Tiêt
for violin
US premiere

Terre-Feu (Earth-Fire) for viola, Métal-Terre-Eau (Metal-Earth-Water) for violin, Bois-Terre for cello, along with Jeu des Cinq Éléments 1 (Game of the five elements 1) for violin and cello, are part of a series of studies on the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth).

These five elements and their correspondences (fire produces earth, earth / metal, metal / water, water / wood, and wood / fire) and their oppositions (fire destroys metal, metal / wood, wood / earth, earth / water, and water / fire) are the basis of the evolution of the universe, according to the Book of Mutations in Chinese philosophy.

These elements also represent directions (metal / west, wood / east, water / north, fire / south, earth / center) or sounds/pitches (metal / sol, wood / la, water / re, fire / do, earth / fa).

Jeu des Cinq Éléments 1 for violin and cello is the superposition of the two pieces Métal-Terre-Eau and Bois-Terre following certain rules.

Commissioned by Radio France, the work is dedicated to French violinist Charles Frey, founding member of the Paris String Trio.

— T.-T. T.    

[from program for May 20, 2013 concert]