Rondeau - Double (2017)

for two trombones


This piece is entirely based on the rondeau Ma fin est mon commencement by Guillaume de Machaut.

It might be described as a form of palimpsest. The eight sections in which it is divided correspond to the eight parts that structure Machaut’s work (and, by extension, the typical rondeau as a medieval chanson form). Each section is the result of a different process of ‘filtering’, so that some of the pitches from Ma fin… are suppressed while others remain intact: the preserved notes are usually located in the exact same place where they do in the original source, although the individual durations may be altered. This allows the deployment of melodic and harmonic configurations that remain somehow ‘hidden’ within the original. Further elaborations affect parameters such as dynamics, articulations, tempi, etc.

The title refers both to the classical double as a variation form, and to the fact that each performer acts as a 'double' of the other.