Faye-Ellen Silverman

Speaking Together

Year: 1981

Duration (in minutes): 9 3/4'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, solo instrument with piano, solo string with piano

Instruments: any string, piano, violin

Publisher: Subito Music Corporation

Description: “Speaking Together” is a dialogue for violin and piano in three movements. The first movement is playful – a flirtation between violin and piano until, finally, the two are united. The sound grows from soft pizzicato violin in the lowest register to col legno violin (with some pizzicato interruptions) with a wider pitch and dynamic range to, finally, arco violin covering a large range. The second movement is slower and more lyrical,. Throughout the work, timbral colors indigenous to each instrument are carefully balanced. In movement two, for instance, muted violin is, at times, matched by una corda piano writing and muffled chords (muted on the piano strings),
The third movement begins as a violent argument that gradually dissipates until the instruments are once more calmly united. It opens with cascades of descending lines, alternating and overlapping between violin and piano. The opening piano chords appear several times within the movement, but with different rhythms. The cascades are interrupted by somewhat softer passages in non-descending shapes, then dissolve into chords and then, finally, the anger of the opening changes to violin harmonics (still in descending shape) and pizzicato violin harmonics, reminiscent of the fact that the work opened pizzicato. Muted piano chords balance the bowed violin harmonics, while the pizzicato harmonics are balanced by the softer sound of plucked piano strings. The work ends quietly

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