Catena 2 : for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano
by Bozidar Kos (1989)
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CATENA 2 is the second of the two compositions of mine in which the word Catena (meaning chain, succession or series) refers to a particular form of the work. It consists of closely connected series of segments that often unite through some common musical idea into larger sections. There are altogether twenty-one such segments, of which four are further subdivided into two parts each. The segments are differentiated from one another by instrumentation and by musical content. Every segment is played by a different instrumental combination, except for segments eight and sixteen, which employ all six members of the ensemble and correspond to the two climaxes of the work. Twelve other segments are trios, one is a quartet, and six are quintets.
Each segment is distinguished by a specific musical idea or set of ideas that is repeated many times within the segment and develops at the same time. Some instruments that continue to play from one segment to the next also continue to develop musical ideas played by them in a previous segment (or segments), while the other instruments introduce new ideas.
Segments thus represent individual links in a series of musical events, but at the same time they are related to one another through some material held in common. Developmental processes in the material are able to continue in this way from segment to segment or section to section. The last four segments recapitulate - though in varied form - the material of the first few segments.
Durations of individual segments are in the proportions 2:3, 3:5, 5:8 etc. to each other. These are the proportions of the Fibonacci numerical series. This series also controls a large part of the rhythmic organization of the central segment of the work, together with other asymmetrical and additive rhythmic structures, characteristic of many of my compositions.
Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano.
Duration: 14 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Australia Ensemble.
Revised August 1992
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