I was asked to participate in a concert involving musicians from Dordrecht (my birthplace in the Netherlands) playing pieces by Dordrecht composers. This set up proved as original as it was impractical because there was hardly any music. I decided to compose a piece myself and since I had wanted to write something for flautist Philippa Davies anyway this resulted in a big work for flute and piano with sonata-like proportions. It is called duo because both instruments play an equally important part: they play together but at the same time are not afraid to compete with each other.
- The first movement is obsessive in character as well as in structure. Each motif, however different, shows a never ceasing urge to grow and develop until it goes over the top.
- The second movement has a dark and static character. The piano (right hand) keeps repeating a slow, choral-like chord progression. The notes in the chords do not have the same length however and through stopping the sound a hidden melody emerges. Flute and piano bass go their own way, which makes the repeated motif shine in a different light all the time.
- The third is a meditative movement with exotic sounds. The pianist uses special sound effects by playing directly on the piano strings. The flute sounds like an oriental wooden flute by extremely pulling out the head joint.
- The last movement is a grand finale of exciting and swinging rhythms.
The work was premiered in January 2003 by Philippa Davies (to whom the work is dedicated) with the composer at the piano.