The Two Duets date from 1988, and were originally written for cello and piano, premiered by its dedicatee, Rafael Ramos, and Miguel Zanetti at the Reina Sofía Art Center in Madrid, on January 22, 1989.
Cellist Rafael Ramos
The version for viola and piano was made a few weeks later at the request of the North American violinist-violist Laura Klugherz, with whom I have a close friendship since in 1978 she premiered, within the "Música en Compostela" courses, one of my first works: Movement, for violin and piano. During the spring of 1989, Laura Klugherz visited Spain to establish contact with a large number of composers, in order to compile a catalog of contemporary Spanish violin music, and promote its diffusion in the United States. As testimony of my affection and admiration for her work, I did not hesitate to grant her request, the result of which was the transcription for viola and piano of the two original duets.
Violinist-Violist Laura Klugherz
The work is divided into two highly interrelated movements, titled respectively "Duo" and "Double". The pun with the number two, which appears continuously in the various titles (two duets, dúo, double), in turn inspires much of the constructive approach. Thus, the first movement presents a series of elements, organized into differentiated sections, which in the second are subjected to the technique of double or variation, gloss or periphrasis, in a similar way to how some dances of J. S. Bach's Suites are followed by its ornate or "double" repetition. However, part of the treatment of the "Double" is already inserted in the "Duo", and vice versa, thus producing a strong interdependence between both movements. The influence of number two encompasses not only the approach of the formal scheme, and can be seen in details referring to a lower scale, such as, for example, the fact that the "Double" is written at the double movement of the "Dúo", or that the duration of the second move is twice that of the first.
The version for viola and piano of the Two Duets was premiered by Laura Kluguerz, accompanied by María Rosa Greco, on September 9, 1992, at the Colgate Memorial Chapel of Colgate University (Hamilton, NY), in the same concert where they premiered my Three Sonnets on texts by Lope de Vega, Góngora and Quevedo, commissioned by the Department of Romance Languages of said University.
In 2011, the American label Centaur included within the CD "Echoes" the recording of the Two duets performed by Laura Klugherz and Steven Heyman.