Duration (in minutes): 11'39;33'34;
Difficulty: High (professional)
Category: electronic and computer works, mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument trio, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players
Instruments: any brass, any woodwind, electronics, English horn, horn, piano, synthesizer, tape
Publisher: Subito Music Corporation
Written for the group Four for Now (James Ostryniec [oboe/English horn], Nyle Steiner [on Electronic Valve Instrument, which he invented], Faye-Ellen Silverman and Vladimir Ussachevsky [piano four hands]) formed to perform at the Bourges Festival, “On Four” is in two movements. The first, entitled “Oppositions”, begins with the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) and the two pianists opposing the oboe/English horn player. This opposition is established in the introduction, and is used to set off an English horn solo. About halfway through the main part of the movement, the English horn and EVI reverse roles, leading to an EVI solo that begins with the material of the previous English horn solo. A short coda recalls the introduction.
The second movement, “Couplings”, intertwines changing pairs of instruments. Within the three main sections – the second and third of which have tempi related to the first movement – there are interruptions, as one couple usurps to place of the other. There are also seductions, leading to new pairings, until all four instruments finally join together.