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Duo Alterity

by Duo Alterity

Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Histoire du Tango: I. Bordel 1900
4:11 $0.99
2. Histoire du Tango: II. Cafe 1930
7:39 $0.99
3. Histoire du Tango: III. Nightclub 1960
6:26 $0.99
4. Histoire du Tango: IV. Concert d'Aujourd'Hui
3:07 $0.99
5. Romeo and Juliet: I. I Ne're Saw True Beauty Till This Night
2:34 $0.99
6. Romeo and Juliet: II. Queen Mab Hath Been with You
2:22 $0.99
7. Romeo and Juliet: III. How Silver-Sweet Sound Lovers' Tongues by Night
2:44 $0.99
8. Romeo and Juliet: IV. O Serpent Heart...
1:47 $0.99
9. Romeo and Juliet: V. ...Sad Hours Seem Long
1:20 $0.99
10. Romeo and Juliet: VI. ...It Was the Nightingale
2:47 $0.99
11. Romeo and Juliet: VII. Come Weep with Me...
1:56 $0.99
12. Romeo and Juliet: VIII. ...Empty Tigers
1:54 $0.99
13. Romeo and Juliet: IX. ...Never Was a Story of More Woe
3:48 $0.99
14. From the Dreaming: I. Cave Painting
5:30 $0.99
15. From the Dreaming: II. Wildflower
5:34 $0.99
16. From the Dreaming: III. Gecko
3:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Duo Alterity

“Duo Alterity is rapidly emerging as one of the premier Flute and Guitar Duos on today’s concert stage” (Richard Provost, Professor Emeritus and Founder of The Hartt School Guitar Department). The multi-award-winning ensemble has performed extensively across the United States, and was most recently invited to be artists-in-residence for the 2018 Connecticut Summerfest Contemporary Music Festival where they had the opportunity to work closely with emerging composers and give three world premieres.

Duo Alterity is extremely dedicated to the performance of new music. “Their zest for contemporary music shines through in every performance, and their zeal for diving into new compositions is abundant in their work with emerging composers” (Aaron N. Price, Artistic Director & Co-Founder, Connecticut Summerfest, Inc.). In 2016, they gave the world premiere of “La Perla del Pico” by Frank Wallace, and the 2019 season will see them back to Connecticut Summerfest.

In 2017, Duo Alterity became finalists in the Classics Alive Young Artist Auditions, adding to their quickly growing list of awards. The ensemble also won 1st prize in the 2017 Music of Americas Great Composers Competition, the 2016 Vivo International Music Competition, and the 2016 Inaugural Hartt Chamber Music Competition.

Duo Alterity has performed at numerous prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and the Governor’s Mansion in Hartford, CT.

Duo Alterity’s “innovative programming” and “musically charged performances” make them “one of the most captivating emerging ensembles today” (Dave McLellan, Curator, Hartt@Home).

Histoire du Tango (by Astor Piazzolla) 

“1. Bordel 1900: The tango originated in Buenos Aires in 1882. It was first played on the guitar and flute. Arrangements then came to include the piano, and later, the concertina. This music is full of grace and liveliness. It paints a picture of the good natured chatter of the French, Italian, and Spanish women who peopled those bordellos as they teased the policemen, thieves, sailors, and riffraff who came to see them. This is a gay tango. 

2. Cafe 1930: This is another age of the tango. People stopped dancing it as they did in 1900, preferring instead simply to listen to it. It became more musical, and more romantic. This tango has undergone total transformation: the movements are slower, with new and often melancholy harmonies. Tango orchestras come to consist of two violins, two concertinas, a piano, and a bass. The tango is sometimes sung as well. 

3. Nightclub 1960: This is a time of rapidly expanding international exchange, and the tango evolves again as Brazil and Argentina come together in Buenos Aires. The bossa nova and the new tango are moving to the same beat. Audiences rush to the night clubs to listen earnestly to the new tango. This marks a revolution and a profound alteration in some of the original tango forms. 

4. Concert d’aujourd’hui: Certain concepts in tango music become intertwined with modern music. Bartok, Stravinsky, and other composers reminisce to the tune of tango music. This is today’s tango, and the tango of the future as well.” 

 -Astor Piazzolla 

Romeo and Juliet (by Ned Rorem) 

“1. I ne’re saw true beauty till this night 
With these words Romeo expresses his feelings when he first sees Juliet. The first half of this movement is quite tranquil, representing the events at the ball. The second half becomes more agitated, probably representing the feud between Romeo and Juliet’s families. 

2. Queen Mab hath been with you 

Queen Mab is the mischievous sprite who keeps appearing in Romeo’s dreams warning him of  danger. The movement is in an irregular meter, with the constant changing of note groupings representing her sly teasing and cryptic warnings. The silences represent Queen Mab’s sudden appearances and disappearances. 

3. How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night 

These words are spoken during the famous balcony scene. Romeo is trying to tell Juliet of his feelings for her, but Juliet is rather aloof because of the feud between their families. The guitar part represents her distance and unease. The tone of the movement is conversational with the guitar part marked “nervous” and the flute part marked “calm.” 

4. O serpent heart…  

Juliet has just learned of the death of Tybalt at the hands of Romeo. She is angry at the circumstances which deprive her of her cousin, Tybalt, and her husband, Romeo, who is banished for killing him. Her only relief is the realization that if Romeo had not killed Tybalt, Romeo himself would be dead. This movement alternates sections of dissonant intervals and softer more expressive passages. The movement is marked “passionate and biting.” 

5. …sad hours seem long 

This movement is out of sequence with the play. Before Romeo meets Juliet, he is lamenting the sad state of his love life. This music is quite static, with very little dynamic range, representing a dull, flat period in Romeo’s life. 

6. …it was the nightingale 

The flute in the beginning of this movement actually represents the morning lark outside the window at Juliet’s home. This movement takes place just before Romeo flees to Mantua. He hears the bird and knows that morning has come and that he must leave, but Juliet holds him back saying that it was only the nightingale. This movement begins softly with the call of a bird, but becomes more frenzied, representing the anguish of soon to be separated lovers. 

7. Come weep with me… 

Juliet is asking the friar how she can prevent her coming marriage to Paris. The flute and guitar continually imitate each other, creating rhythmic tension throughout the piece. The quiet tension and grating dissonances of the movement represent Juliet’s agony over separation from Romeo and a forced marriage to another man. 

8. …empty tigers 

Romeo is contemplating suicide after hearing of the death of Juliet. He gives his servant a message for his father and warns the servant not to interfere. “The time and my intents are savage wild / More fierce and more inexorable far / Than empty tigers or the roaring sea.” 

9. …never was a story of more woe 

These closing lines of the play create the closing mood of this work. The movement fluctuates between dirge-like chordal passages, and lamenting wails of grief.”
-Richard Provost 

From the Dreaming (by Phillip Houghton) 

“In 1986 while working on a huge Gas Pipeline project that stretched from Darwin to Alice Springs, I finally got to experience Australia's 'Out-back':  its red deserts and searing heat; its isolation and stillness; the flora and fauna; and its sudden, violent storms. I discovered ancient river-beds and caves; in the Spring the red carpet of dust was covered in flowers of yellow, orange and purple; and on one memorable day a small Gecko lizard hitched a ride on my shoulder and in my pocket as I went about my work alongside the bulldozers and road-trains. I always wanted to transfer these images and feelings into sound and, hopefully, in this work something of the 'Out-back' will be found – a dramatic eerie world of iridescent colour; a fantastic Spirit world; savage and beautiful; everything meant something and nothing. And at night the stars were only inches from your eyes.  

1. Cave Painting: to do with mystery, rock formations, ancient rock-art and "power fields". The guitar, in this movement, attempts to mimic the Didgeridu.  

2. Wildflower: the song of a single flower in an ever changing panorama and climate of storms, drought, heat and isolation... isolation and endless space. 

3. Gecko: the life and times of a small Gecko lizard... in Scherzo form.”

-Phillip Houghton 



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