Last month, the Classics a Day team came up with a theme to reflect the reality of social distancing. The challenge was to share solo works for unusual instruments — the kind of instruments best played in social isolation.

For June, the team is again going with the times. Social bubbles are small groups of people (usually family members) who live together and therefore don’t need to maintain distance from each other. So the challenge is to share examples of classical bubbles. That is, duos for unusual instruments best not shared in public. 

Below are my selections for the second week of #ClassicalBubble

06/08/20 Gene Koshinski – As One for percussion duo

Koshinski’s work uses two performers with identical setups — including a shared bass drum and marimba.

06/09/20 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Horn Duos K. 487

The horns of Mozart’s day were valveless instruments. Limited to the harmonic series of the tube, players used hand stopping and pitch-bending to get extra notes.

06/10/20 Bellerofonte Castaldi (1580-1649) Duet for two Theorbos

Castaldi was a composer and a lutenist. This duet comes from a collection he published in 1623.

06/12/20 Andy Scott (1966-) Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Harp

Scott is a British composer and saxophonist. His sonata pushes the technical limits of both the saxophone and the harp.