"Concursus" - Irish Chamber Orchestra
In 2003 I wrote a tiny piece for my friend the Italian violist Maurizio Barbetti to include in his repertoire of contemporary miniatures. This fragment became the basis for my Concursus, begun in Dublin in July 2004 and completed in Paris the following December, and is quoted in its entirety more than half way through the piece, arranged for both soloists as a kind of cadenza.
The title implies both competition and confluence, but I feel that the latter predominates here (in 1996, incidentally, I composed Excursus for solo saxophone). Unlike my Violin Concerto (2003) in which the soloist sometimes gets carried away by individualistic virtuosity, the soloists avoid unseemly gymnastics and are intent on co-operating with one another and with the string orchestra. Although the latter is divided into two identical groups, with the double-bass acting as fulcrum, there is again very little competition: the groups present subtly differentiated versions of the same material and occasionally play in unison.
Concursus, which is collectively dedicated to the Irish Chamber Orchestra, lasts about 17' and is in one movement divided into 9 linked sections.