By Joel Friedman
My cello-piano piece Pas de Deux returns to NYC!
On 14, Jan 2024 | In News | By Joel Friedman
Pas de Deux is a special piece created under unusual circumstances. Initially it was commissioned by a dear friend to celebrate a her spouse’s birthday. It was revised and expanded, reforged even, under the dark shadows cast by 9/11. And now? Performed at a beautiful private ceremony marking the remarriage of these two dear and old friends, Pam and Steve, all the more in love and wiser from the passage of life and time. There is a strong narrative arc to the piece. It is in one movement divided into four sections: I. Prologue; II. Youth; III. The Limits of Life, a. Dialogue and b. How Time Ends; and IV. Pas de Deux. One of the wonders of art is how the actual notes don’t change over time, we do. Our current dark time creates new resonates and the music seems shine even brighter. Pas de Deux is a demanding piece for performers requiring not only superb technique, but, more importantly, players willing and able to plumb its emotional heights and depths. Its strong narrative arc interpretively demands much from its performers. It is in one movement divided into four sections: I. Prologue; II. Youth; III. The Limits of Life, a. Dialogue and b. How Time Ends; and IV. Pas de Deux. I am so happy to have found cellist Tommy Mesa and pianist Yoon Lee who rose to the work’s challenges, especially the emotions required to make sense of, and complete this narrative arc. Its subject matter is beautiful and intense, beautifully intense. It’s a big, bold piece that I am proud to say wears its heart on its sleeve. It takes special performers to pull that off, and these two are special. We all felt transformed and exhilarated by the experience. Pam and Steve were not the only ones in tears by the end. As a composer these are the moments that make all the work worthwhile. I can’t wait until we all go through this together, again. (Photo L-R: Jenny Bilfield, cellist Tommy Mesa, pianist Yoon Lee, composer Joel Phillip Friedman, sound engineer Paul Zinman)