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Intimate Decisions

Brett Dean (b. 1961)

Brett Dean (photo credit: Robert Piccoli)

Brett Dean (photo credit: Robert Piccoli)

Composer
Brett Dean (b. 1961)
Composition Year
1996
Artists
Brett Dean [viola]

Programme Note Writer:
© Brett Dean

This piece for solo viola was commissioned by the German violist (and my Berlin Philharmonic colleague) Walter Küssner as part of a CD project of works for solo viola planned with a Canadian recording company for the 1998/99 season.

As the title implies, this is music of a private nature, and I must say I found the task of writing a work for a single string instrument strangely akin to writing a personal letter or having an intense discussion with a close friend. The piece opens with a short series of single motives: a minor 3rd, a major 7th and a perfect 4th, all very distant in character, then a more assertive minor 6th - minor 9th motive, followed later by a chain of oscillating harmonics scating across the lower strings. Slowly these separate elements start reacting to one another, and the mood changes, developing from the distant nature of the opening to something more freely rhapsodic and determined, then evolving further through moments of sudden drama, anger, flighty virtuosity or even calm and tenderness.

After exploring the implications of this "conversation" and sinking to an uneasy quietness, the viola´s ensuing whisperings gather momentum, leading to an impassioned climax. The aftermath of this peak leaves an unresolved, gently rocking echo of what has been "discussed" in the guise of the harmonics from the opening.

The name Intimate Decisions comes from a painting by my wife, the Australian painter Heather Betts. 


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Intimate Decisions

Composer: Brett Dean (b. 1961)
Performance date: Friday 24th June 2011
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

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http://archive.westcorkmusic.ie/details/view/cmf/51

Composer Brett Dean (b. 1961)
Work Title Intimate Decisions
Composition Year 1996
Artist(s) Brett Dean [viola]
Performance Date Friday 24th June 2011
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Main Evening Concert
Duration 00:10:09
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Solo
Instrumentation va
Premiere Irish Premiere
Other Information Brett Dean was the West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2011 Composer-in-residence.
Programme Note Writer © Brett Dean

This piece for solo viola was commissioned by the German violist (and my Berlin Philharmonic colleague) Walter Küssner as part of a CD project of works for solo viola planned with a Canadian recording company for the 1998/99 season.

As the title implies, this is music of a private nature, and I must say I found the task of writing a work for a single string instrument strangely akin to writing a personal letter or having an intense discussion with a close friend. The piece opens with a short series of single motives: a minor 3rd, a major 7th and a perfect 4th, all very distant in character, then a more assertive minor 6th - minor 9th motive, followed later by a chain of oscillating harmonics scating across the lower strings. Slowly these separate elements start reacting to one another, and the mood changes, developing from the distant nature of the opening to something more freely rhapsodic and determined, then evolving further through moments of sudden drama, anger, flighty virtuosity or even calm and tenderness.

After exploring the implications of this "conversation" and sinking to an uneasy quietness, the viola´s ensuing whisperings gather momentum, leading to an impassioned climax. The aftermath of this peak leaves an unresolved, gently rocking echo of what has been "discussed" in the guise of the harmonics from the opening.

The name Intimate Decisions comes from a painting by my wife, the Australian painter Heather Betts.