Oblique Strategies (2014)  |  Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn (b. 1980)    

Oblique Strategies was written for and dedicated to the PEN Trio by composer Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn.  It was premiered at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas on March 9, 2014 and has subsequently been published in the PEN Trio Collection and is available through TrevCo-Varner Music.

Program Notes by Composer Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn:

Oblique Strategies was written for the PEN trio and is based upon the aphorism cards of the same name created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Each variation was created by pulling a different card from the deck and then following the written instruction on the card. Some variations are clear representation of the instructions while others are more abstract. 

In addition to the variation nature of the work the clarinet also serves as the main protagonist of the piece. My former composition teacher Charles Argersinger, a clarinetist himself, passed away in 2013 after a long battle with  Parkinsons shortly around the time I began work on this piece. In a way this piece serves a second purpose as a homage to Charles and all he taught me. 

The Form of the work is as follows:

  Theme: Go Outside. Shut the Door

  Variation 1: What are you thinking right now?

  Variation 2: Do we need holes?

  Variation 3: Don’t Break the Silence

  Variation 4: Listen to the quiet voice

  Variation 5: Children’s Voices-Speaking-Singing

photo (1)

[Pictured L to R: Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn, Nora Lewis, Phillip O. Paglialonga,  and Eric Varner]

 © PEN Trio 2011-2016