Three Psalms, op.104What Can It Be?Five Temperaments
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Alongside the six Quartettini, continuing from them, came these adventures in small-scale composition — relatively rare chez moi earlier, and sometimes seeming to be "against nature" (fundamentally expansive).  The two commissions of summer 2007 were both for small forces — vocal sextet (What Can It Be?), wind quintet (Five Temperaments) — and for 10' duration.  I chafed and groaned and — with initial difficulty and final pleasure — obeyed.  After the one-and-a-half hours of the recent Fourth Concerto, size needed its opposite.  After it, some fifteen pieces, none longer than 10', most shorter, helped actually extend my range while apparently contracting it.  And after Big and Small, 2008 was for pressing practical reasons a Gap Year.  Perhaps for musical reasons too.  The well was temporarily dry.  But the hand was not idle.  A project to transcribe for piano-duet all the Haydn Quartets not so done in the nineteenth century (great epoch of this domestic medium) was finished in time for the bicentenary of his death in 2009. Also a further hommage — framing the two movements he completed of his last quartet op. 103 in music of his own and my own intercombined. 
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