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979-0-57036-515-9 Deux Esquisses – Performing score Available at MusicRoom Buy now (£8.95)


I - liberamente, con grazia, delicatezza, impetuoso, poco espressivo, flessibile, ma sempre spaziale

II - ritmico, preciso

This piece is dedicated to Terry Holmes on his 80th Birthday - his friendship and support has meant a lot to me! Three notes taken from his name are presented right at the beginning of the piece. They delineate the contours of the main melodic idea of the first esquisse, and are thus texturally highlighted; in fact, these three notes could well be described as 'stepping stones' of the musical landscape of the work, for they serve as sonic pillars in holding together the architectural design of the piece as a whole. Exploring the sonic properties and the resonance of various registers, the outer pitches of the initial melodic line (E-flat and B) are strategically presented at structural junctures of the first esquisse, whilst the E, in contrast, is firmly rooted in its central location, and is ubiquitously present throughout the second esquisse. As indicated by the description of each esquisse, these are highly contrasting pieces; each is self-contained in its own unmistakable character, but here they are played one after the other and without a break. Despite their individual textural canvass, they are linked by a network of relationships at various levels of intensity. The title of the piece here refers to specific gestures whose impulse and energetic unfolding could well be compared to the 'sketching' of a drawing in one stroke of the pen!

© Thomas Simaku

Soundcloud recording: Joseph Houston


6 minutes
Joseph Houston, Wigmore Hall, London, 25th November 2013
1 Piano
Composition date


Solos and Duos for Violin and Piano Peter Sheppard Skaerved (violin), Chris Orton (recorders), Joseph Houston (piano), Roderick Chadwick (piano) 9th August 2019


19 October 2018

39th Festival Nuovi Spazi Musicali, Foyer del Teatro V.Basso, Ascoli Piceno, Italy

Joseph Houston (piano)

16 October 2016

The Shoe Factory, Nicosia, Cyprus

Joseph Houston (piano)

8 October 2015 Pianodrom International Festival, Academy of Arts, Tirana Joseph Houston (piano)
25 November 2013

Wigmore Hall, London

Joseph Houston