Pas de deux

PAS DE DEUX (1984)


Programme note

Pas de deux is a composition in five phases which together form one process:

from one tone (d) creating a number of musical figures. These move around initially in tight schemata, but in the course of the piece develop the components harmony, rhythm and melody in such a way, that a polyphony is created that fills the entire tonal space. The work was originally written in 1984 for violin and viola. At the request of the Baldwine Consort the composer made this version for recorder quartet.

Ivo van Emmerik, 1985

scored for:

  • I: alto recorder (doubling on soprano recorder)
  • II: alto recorder
  • III: tenor recorder
  • IV: tenor recorder (doubling on bass recorder)


ca. 10 minutes

First performance:

14 January 1985, De IJsbreker Amsterdam, by the Baldwine Consort (Geesche Geddert, Henriëtte Bakker, Christine Brelowski, Immetje Elders)


Donemus Amsterdam © 1985

New (engraved) edition published in 2015

From the press:

"Striking music for recorders"

Het Parool, 15 January 1985

"(...) Towards the end, the tension was high and the last page in a sort of written out glissando movement works particularly convincing (...) That this composition was so  convincing, should certainly also be ascribed to the performers (...)"

NRC Handelsblad, 15 January 1985

Score example

In November 1982 I attended three weeks of concerts and analysis classes given by Karlheinz Stockhausen at the Conservatory of The Hague. Many gestures and formal aspects of Pas de deux were created while clearly still impressed by this experience. Shortly after the first performance, the work was repeated on February 7, during a live broadcast of the radio program Musica Nova Live.

Ivo van Emmerik (left) attending a lecture by Karlheinz Stockhausen (right) in The Hague, 1982

Ivo van Emmerik - Database © 2019