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Pas de Deux is an essentially abstract work for two guitars, but was conceived as a sequence of imaginery dances, involving two characters. The titles of the five sections give clues as to the mood of each dance, but beyond that the listener must rely on their own imagination and personal experiences to interpret the sounds. There are elements of 'minimalist' influence in this work, with plenty of quite simple modal ideas being subtly varied in the course of repetitions. This is especially so in the second section, which develops an idea first presented in the choral work 'As Long as Time' (No.3: "I lie, I watch the ceiling"). The third section is more Bartokian in style, while the fourth builds up to a catharsis through repeated chord patterns. In the short Epilogue ideas from the beginning recur, but transformed into a more peaceful setting.
Pas de Deux was commissioned and first performed by Matthew Marshall and Tony Donaldson.
Commissioned by and written for Tony Donaldson and Matthew Marshall (the NZ Guitar Duo) , with financial assistance from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council and the New Zealand Composers' Foundation.
2. Au Revoir
4. Waltz triste
18 Mar 1993: Performed by Tony Donaldson and Matthew Marshall at the Adam Concert Room, Victoria University.