ABOUT THE MUSIC
Duo Sonata is a unique, four-movement composition for two multiple-percussion soloists, which for its melodic material draws upon a series of Elizabethan songs (of John Dowland, Thomas Campion, William Corkine, Alfonso Ferrabosco and Robert Jones). Despite its melancholy overall mood, the second movement is bright and vigorous, while the third is a short, delicate interlude with bell-like sounds. Each movement has its own particular character, and any one movement could be performed separately. Performance demands embrace 4-mallet technique, rapid passage work and cross-rhythms. A large array of instruments is required, including: chimes, glockenspiels, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, crotales, timpani, various drums, whip, assorted cymbals and tam-tams.
The four movements are:
* A Record of the Year in Fanfare magazine (USA) ("Want List 2008")
Fanfare (USA), Vol.31: No.5 (May–June 2008), pp.179-180, and "The Want List 2008", in Fanfare (USA), Vol. 32: No.2 (Nov-Dec 2008), p.77.
Tempo (UK), Vol.62: No.243 (Jan. 2008), pp.88-89.
Bailey, Lynn Rene, ‘Little, Jonathan: Terpsichore and Other Works’ [CD Review] in “Fanfare” (USA), Vol.31: No.5 (May-June 2008), pp.179-180. ISSN 0148-9364 – “Duo Sonata on Elizabethan themes ... pushes its players to the max, from chimes, glockenspiel, vibes, marimba, and xylophone to crotales, timpani, a whip, plus various drums, cymbals, and tom-toms. Melodic snippets by Dowland, Campion, William Corkine, Alfonso Ferrabosco, and Robert Jones are thus rescored ... Yet there is astonishing delicacy and melodic continuity in its four movements, each a self-contained unit that could be performed separately.”
Wheatley, John, ‘Jonathan Little: Polyhymnia’ [CD Review], in “Tempo” (UK), Vol.62: No.243 (Jan. 2008), pp.88-89. – “a four-movement sonata, interpreting the melodic and rhythmic material – at times dances – of Elizabethan England with a bell-like array of modern percussion. Vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiels, xylophone and crotales combine with percussion to produce a decidedly strange atmosphere when merged with the gleaming, superbly defined, 16th-century backdrop.”