For today's dedication ceremonial, the metaphor of a double helix seemed apt on numerous levels. For instance, envisage a double helix of human being & library library & human being, each functioning in intimate relation with the other, each conditioning both its own future and the future of the other. Virtuosic, capricious and heartfelt, this music combines and transforms motivic materials that are simultaneously majestic and ornamental. Baroque-like with arabesques and trills, the Tribute swirls through auras including lyrical, ardent, fluid, impassioned and ablaze with energy. Akin to a double helix, both parts are equally virtuosic; likewise, each violinist serves as protagonist as well as a fulcrum point on and around which the other player's musical force-fields rotate, bloom and proliferate.
The world premiere of Mansueto Tribute, "double helix" for two violins, composed for and premiered at the dedication ceremony of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago took place on October 11, 2011, Janet Sung and Yuan-Qing Yu, violins.
Augusta Read Thomas