String Duo (viola and cello)


This version for viola and cello is an adaptation of the work String Duo, originally written for violin and cello.

I – Diàleg (Dialogue), II – Capritx (Capriccio), III – Complanta (Plaint), IV – Impromptu



BROTONS, Salvador


(Complete set)


Viola and violoncello




19 +8+8

Year of composition






This version for viola and cello is an adaptation of the work String Duo, originally written for violin and cello by the composer’s initiative.

It has been a long time that I wanted to write music for this combination. Two basic reasons: Both instruments are very expressive and have an enormous range of technical possibilities. Also, there are a great number of established musical ensembles (duos) interested in having more music for violin and cello without piano.

Later it was suggested to me to do a version for viola and cello and the proposal motivated me.

The piece is conceived in four relatively short movements of contrasting character. The imitative counterpoint writing is present throughout the whole piece with special attention to all kind of timbrical effects to achieve color.

Dialogue is a kind conversation between the two instruments in a relaxed tempo. Contemplative at the beginning, increases the rhythmic and dynamic activity in the middle part to return later to the initial ambiance.

Capriccio is a space of irregular rhythms, unstable, where the 7/8 measure predominates. The pizzicati and the harmonics give a curious timbrical color always under an unstoppable fast tempo.

Plaint is the deepest movement of the piece. A deeply felt reflection in a tense conversation between the viola and cello in canon to start but getting freer and intense later. In the central part the use of double strings increases the harmonic density to achieve a culminating point. Step by step, a distension happens and progressively the tessitura descends to the lower register of both instruments fading out in the darkness.

Impromptu ends the piece with obstinacy and determination. It features the rhythmic reciprocity of the binary against the ternary in all the first part. A big textural change happens in the middle part. Here is the only part of the whole piece where a melody is openly accompanied by a displayed harmony. First the viola and later the cello presented new singable lines under a harmonic accompaniment. A modify and shortened recapitulation comes to prepare a brilliant Coda in an even faster tempo.

Very special thanks to the violinist Birgit Euler and the cellist Matthias Weinmann for their small technical corrections that I always value very much to facilitate future performances.

Additional information

Weight 0.265 kg

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