NET CORD (2010)

NET CORD (2010)

for string ensemble

ensemble: strings 3.3.2.1.1
duration: 10 minutes
première: October 3, 2010, Slovenian Philharmonics, Ljubljana, Slovenia
KOS Ensemble
Conducted by Marko Hribernik

NET CORD

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NET CORD

(excerpt)

October 3, 2010, Slovenian Philharmonics, The Marjan Kozina Hall, Ljubljana (première)
KOS Ensemble, Conducted by Marko Hribernik
Production by Radio Slovenia

ABOUT

NET CORD is something of an oddity within Žuraj’s series of pieces with titles pertaining to tennis nomenclature, being scored for an ensemble consisting entirely of strings, rather than the sort of mixed ensemble normally preferred by the composer. A “net cord” is the description for a fortuitous point, scored when one player’s shot strikes the upper edge of the net and bobbles over to the opposing side, leaving that player’s adversary no chance of reaching the ball before it bounces twice in their own half.

A decimet consisting of six violins, two violas and one each of the violoncello and double bass, Net Cord counters the conventional uniformity of its instrumentation by eschewing the sorts of timbres and gestures normally associated with string ensembles. It is fully two minutes before a bowed note is heard, and even then, the foray into the rich sound of the string ensemble is brief, with col legno (with the wood of the bow) and other non-standard tone colours soon taking the foreground. Not that NET CORD is a self-consciously negative piece of music, trying to avoid all traditionally musical flow or association; it is simply that, with the asynchronous pizzicato glissandi that start and end the piece, and the disjointed gestures in between, it aims to create musical contexts that, while accessible in themselves, are not generally considered native to the ensemble in question.

Alwyn Tomas Westbrooke

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