Nickitas Demos

Suite for Oboe, Viola & Piano



  • 1
    Suite for Ob_Vla_Pno_m1_excerpt
  • 2
    Suite for Ob_Vla_Pno_m2_excerpt
  • 3
    Suite for Ob_Vla_Pno_m3_excerpt
  • 4
    Suite for Ob_Vla_Pno_m4_excerpt

Suite for Oboe, Viola & Piano (2000)

Nickitas Demos

Featured on the recording Aegean Counterpoint. Click HERE for more info.

I. Circle Music - score preview

II. in praise of stillness... score preview

III. Aegean Counterpoint score preview

IV. Aubade score preview

Duration: 19'

The inspiration for this work came from the lovely Suite pour Violon, Clarinette et Piano by Darius Milhaud. I was particularly interested in the scheme of movements found in the Milhaud work: a fast opening movement, a slow second movement, a third movement that was a duet between the string and woodwind instruments omitting the piano, and a concluding movement using the entire ensemble. Outside of this general format, the work bears very little resemblance to the Milhaud Suite particularly in terms of overall length and pitch construction.  

Each of the four movements has a distinct personality. The opening movement, Circle Music, derives its title from a circular eight note motive that permeates the music. After a strong, opening unison gesture, this motive appears in the oboe and viola briefly. Later, the piano picks up on the motive and repeats it incessantly as other related materials float above. Finally, all three performers gradually join in playing the motive until the music leads back to the opening unison gesture. In this manner, the entire movement is circular in nature and could be repeated (although no such indication is given in the score).

The second movement, in praise of stillness…, concerns itself with a very limited set of pitch materials and consciously avoids rigorous developmental procedures. It is cast in a simple bipartite form with the first half of the movement introducing the materials to be used as well as setting overall mood of the music. There is one large crescendo at the end of the first half that leads directly into the second half of the movement. In this section, one simple motive is sounded repeatedly at varying intervals and rhythmic durations until the movement finally, simply and quietly concludes.

Aegean Counterpoint is a rollicking, virtuoso duet for the oboe and viola alone. It is based loosely upon Greek dance rhythms and scales derived from Greek folk music.

The fourth and final movement, Aubade, begins immediately upon the conclusion of movement three with a small piano solo. The music constantly builds throughout the movement. As the piano gradually builds from a slow opening to a sensuously flowing  stream of pitches, the oboe and viola make their respective entrances floating serenely above the motion in the piano. The oboe, viola and piano gradually coalesce into a fast moving and rhythmically unified statement. At the climax of this section, there is a return to the opening chordal material found in the piano. This material, however, is presented at much louder dynamic level and is accompanied by the oboe and viola. This section is followed by a brief coda that features ascending scales in the three instruments and ultimately leads to a short restatement of the unison gesture found in the first movement before reaching its exciting conclusion.