Two Roads (2012|2021)

Take a listen to the premiere:


Two Roads (2012|2021)

commissioned by Art of Élan
1. Greenway (tandem version)
2. Dream

“Two Roads” is a composition at an intersection of the terrestrial and the magical, an opportunity to revisit an optimistic, propulsive pre-COVID work from 2012 and pair it with a mournful, elliptical inspiration from our present and uncertain moment in time.

The first movement, “Greenway”, was inspired by my new-found love of cycling around New York. After a significant fare hike in New York City’s transit system, I decided that I would bike as much as possible, part protest / part exercise. Ever since then, I’ve been spending a lot of time on the beautiful Hudson River Greenway, which hugs the West Side of Manhattan, in good weather and bad, in winter and summer.  Violinist Asmira Woodward-Page commissioned “Greenway” as a solo violin piece to be a companion to H.I.F. Biber’s “Passacaglia“, and, in that, “Greenway” is a total opposite, a counterweight — fast, jaunty, optimistic, an off-the-grid square dance. “Greenway” always seemed like a piece written for a violinist with four hands, and I feel very fortunate to revisit it here for “Two Roads”, creating a “tandem” (to borrow a word from cycling) version for violin and cello, sharing the road and steering the piece to its climax.

In lieu of the aforementioned piece by Biber, “Dream”, written in spring 2021, comes from a different world — a world of disconnection, caution, fear and, maybe, unfulfilled love. It’s a small, halted requiem to those we’ve lost to COVID, a stepping stone on which to rebuild trust, community, and put our world back together again.

Thank you so much to Kate Hatmaker and Art of Élan for this commission and our continued collaboration in this time.

CATEGORY chamber music
INSTRUMENTATION violin and cello
DURATION 15 minutes
WORLD PREMIERE April 15 2021
Lux Art Institute, San Diego CA
Alex Greenbaum (cello)
SCORE AVAILABILITY All arrangements are available for sale via PDF or mail delivery; arrangements for combinations not listed above may be commissioned on request. [contact for more info]