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Three step : Trio for horn, violin, violoncello

by Cathy Milliken (2010)

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Work Overview

Three step is a short choreography beginning with solo horn, gradually interrupted by interjections of the violin and violoncello.


The horn part generates musical material to at first be imitated by his two string colleagues. One image that served as a source for the piece was angelus novus, the two strings functioning as the two arms or wings of the angel. However, the piece is also a dance, a dance of renewal or death - it is unclear. Very quickly, the strings learn this language and become equal dance partners or partners in flight, perhaps away from the past as the angelus novus is seemingly placed. In this way the most common formation is of 1+2 players, albeit a handsome threesome and more harmonic outcome is achieved at the end of the piece.

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Horn, violin, cello.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Written for: Ensemble Modern

Commission note: Commissioned by Saar Berger.


Interview [Audio]: Cathy Milliken interview
Interviewed by Briandain O'Shea (Producer), for Tall-Poppies.com
Cathy Milliken has been an artist many young Australian musicians have looked up to when they have travelled abroad to continue their studies in Europe. A renowned oboist, composer and music educator, Cathy has held key positions with two of the world’s leading music ensembles, Ensemble Modern and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Performances of this work

3 May 2017: at CIMF 2017: Half the Sky (National Portrait Gallery). Featuring Darryl Poulsen, Veronique Serret, Blair Harris.

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