Monument, subtitled "Prélude à l'unisson": A tribute to Enescu, was composed in 2005 as an homage to the great musical hero of my childhood. I wanted to borrow Enescu’s meaningful and novel idea of the “prelude in unison”, which he introduced in his Orchestral Suite No. 1 Op. 9, and use it in a piece for violin and piano. The work explores various unconventional playing techniques, additive rhythm (as developed by Messiaen), polymetric time structures (as developed by Niculescu), as well as an alternative approach to the relationship between the two instruments.
After an improvisatory introduction in the violin part (both a stylization of Carpathian wind instruments and a reminiscence of the opening section to Pärt’s Fratres), the two instruments play a long melody in unison. Gradually, through various extended playing techniques, the “orchestration” of the melody between the two instruments pushes them further away from each other in terms of sonority. The pedal point (a stylization of the “ison” and a reminiscence of Niculescu’s extensive pedals) gives way to further alteration of the unison. While the unity of material is never betrayed, the disjointment of time in the two instrumental parts brings about clashes of the melodic blocks. The end is sealed with a ghostly echo of Enescu's musical cryptogram, G. E[n]EsCU(t): G, E, E flat, C, uttered in harmonics in the piano part.
I have performed the premiere of Monument with pianist Bernd Puschmann in June 2005, in a concert in Bonn, Germany, celebrating 50 years since Enescu’s death. The work has since been performed to this date by students, professionals and concert artists in European countries, as well as in the USA and Australia. While the two parts present little difficulty per se, the alternative take on the traditional violin and piano duo makes the work a good choice for auditions or exams, showcasing the musicianship and vision of the two performers with unconventional technical means, as well as for recitals, in which it can create an effective evocative moment.