Alexey Retinsky – DUDA; premiere by the Keuris Quartet

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The Keuris Quartet met composer Alexey Retinsky during the Gaudeamus Music Week 2017. The quartet selected him from an ‘open call’ for new works and worked with him on first sketches for new pieces. This collaboration proved to be so fruitful that they decided to write to premiere this finalized work during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2018….   

“When I was writing the piece “DUDA” the leading light for me were images of dance mysteries, accompanied by some ritual wind instruments. Although the name itself indicates a particular wind instrument from the bagpipe family, but here we are talking about a very architectonic principle of sound production on wind instruments in a broader sense. Namely, about inhaling and exhaling, as one of the formative principles of life. This same principle of inspiration and exhalation can be observed itself in the dramaturgy of the piece, where there are both broad dynamic waves with a rise or fall, and intermittent subito, sharply escapist musical narrative in unexpected directions.

The entire harmonic structure is built on the natural overtone scale, which sprouts from various tonal centres. Metaphorically you can imagine a bird, which is flying from branch to branch and looking for a suitable place for the nest. At each point of the link, she begins to build her new spectral house, but apparently, the windy weather prevents her from going too far. And only at the very end, several times passing through all 11 tones, she reaches the missing 12th (note B), which gives her the ultimate refuge. At this moment, in the full sense of the word, the acquisition takes place, where all the fragmented elements are assembled into a single building.”

More info about the concert