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Nico Muhly

Publisher: Chester Music

Common Ground (2008)
St. Rose Music Publishing
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Piano Trio
Year Composed
9 Minutes

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Programme Note
Nico Muhly Common Ground (2008)
Common Ground employs three different repetitive techniques. The first third of the piece is a cycle of chords of expanding and contracting length, with the violin and cello trading agitated little lines. The second is a pastoral obsession over essentially one chord: light changing over a field. Here, the cello leads, and the violin and piano offer insect-like interruptions. After a metronomic interlude and a free-form interlude, the piano begins stating a ground bass – a repetitive line around which the harmonies constantly shift. This sort of thing pops up in Purcell, where I first encountered it as a choirboy. The piece ends with a hyperactive recapitulation and is approximately 9 minutes long.

  • 12 JAN 2012
    Common Ground UK Premiere
    Soubank Centre
    Lawson Piano Trio
  • 29 NOV 2010
    Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY
    Claremont Trio

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