Gran Duo (Score). Composed by Magnus Lindberg. For Orchestra, Score (Score). Boosey & Hawkes Scores/Books. 82 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M060116629. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48018950).
A CBSO/Royal Festival Hall Millennium Commission, Gran Duo was first performed on March 8, 2000 at the Royal Festival Hall in London by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The score is a dialogue between the two orchestral families of woodwind and brass, each with their respective material. Their initial characters, equating to the poetic stereotypes of “masculine” and “feminine” become progressively blurred and androgynised during the course of the work as larger sound masses give way to chamber music-style sub-groupings and individual instrumental solos. The wind-only scoring of the work posed various compositional challenges. The composer has stated that “if no one is playing, nothing is heard,” so the illusion of sustained sound has to be created without the support of a string section, Similarly, clear attack and accentuation have to be carefully sculpted, as there is no percussion to help articulation.