Sofia Gubaidulina, Duo Sonata (1977/94)

Duo Sonata for two bassoons was arranged for two baritone saxophones by the composer in 1994. This piece is a very expressive and haunting - an aesthetic typical of Gubaidulina’s often spiritual music. Microtones, quarter tones, glissandi, and multiphonics are employed to create swimming textures, with complex chords and vocal-like passages. Gubaidulina achieves, with two wind instruments, a level of expressivity and textural complexity which one would only normally expect of a much larger ensemble.

Sofia Gubaidulina (born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union in 1931) is, together with Schnittke and Denisov, one of three major Moscow composers of the post-Shostakovich era. Her compositional interests have been stimulated by her experimentation with rare folk and ritual instruments of Russian, Caucasian, and Asian cultures (collected by the “Astreia” ensemble, of which she was co-founder), by the absorption of contemporary Western musical techniques, and by a deep-rooted belief in the mystical properties of music.


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