Writing for the Wholenote, a Toronto-based media guide, reviewer Elliot Wright wrote of Deuce that Lemay's "extended techniques here always complement and never overshadow his finely wrought spectral and contrapuntal textures."(online review, Nov. 24, 2015).
The metaphor of the mirror - subject / object, self / other, object / image, has long kept the Other in a subjugated role in its representation. Here Canadian composer Robert Lemay is interested in the equality of the two performers - Deuce is a term that refers to tennis also. It is therefore a fluid and ambiguous relationship where each line is built by the other, almost the opposite of the independence of counterpoint, where the resulting texture is a hybrid. However, the mirror is kept in the composer's compositional practices; the statement and the reversal of tone rows (where you can decipher the names of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) and imitation; perfect example of the playing of two.
-notes on the piece by Zachary Pfau
Deuce is consistent with Lemay's compositional approaches for saxophone, using advanced techniques such as slap-tonguing, multiphonics, rhythmic bisbigliandi, and altissimo to A. This is an incredible new duet which is fun for both players. It fits together very well, and the audience can enjoy the interplay between parts. Highly recommended!
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