I doubt whether it’s possible to write music for solo violin without expressly either embracing or shunning the model of Johann Sebastian Bach’s monumental sonatas and partitas. In them one finds fully polyphonic music expressed by a single, athletic melodic line, leaping from one register to another to demarcate independent contrapuntal parts. All composers do this, of course, but rarely to the degree of complexity and perfection offered by Bach in his works for solo violin. I find this melodic approach irresistible. The florid melodic line in Double Take is entirely woven from the twin threads of an embedded imitation, each melodic turn and fragment repeated in a different register; yet the imitation is more often than not concealed through a process of melodic interleaving and rhythmic mutability to convey the impression of a single, integrated musical line. Written for Earplay’s violinist Terrie Baune, it’s an honor of the most pleasurable kind to offer Double Take as a gift to Earplay in recognition of the group’s extraordinary contribution over a period of 30 years as a catalyst in the creation of our musical legacy to the future.
- Richard Festinger