Out of Zaleski's Gazebo
Out of Zaleski's Gazebo, for 2 pianos, 6 or 8 hands, was written at the end of 1977 and is "out of" an earlier chamber piece called Poggioli in Zaleski's Gazebo in which the characteristics of two different fictional detectives (Count Poggioli and Prince Zaleski) are contrasted.
Poggioli solved cases by blundering from one solution to another until he happened on the correct one, while Zaleski was a model of pure ratiocination, never leaving his study, playing an air from Lakmé on the harmonium, fingering an Egyptian scarab, and smoking hashish.
The perfumed harmonies associated with him are subject to motoric and obsessive repetition, gradually descending in the first half of the piece, and rapidly ascending in the second half.
Periodically short cadences from the music of Percy Grainger force a breath of fresh air into the music.
The piece was written at a time when I was working in Composer/Performer ensembles with colleagues such as John White and Chris Hobbs with whom I gave the first performance in Belgium in December 1977.