Robert Helps, Chamber tour

Chamber Music by Robert Helps

Duo (1977) [for ‘cello & piano]

Sometimes Helps regretted the neutral titles he gave to certain works, a tendency he reversed in later life. Truly, no tradition of florid nomenclature exists in the staid world of chamber music; we observe Helps, quite classicist at heart, unconsciously clinging to the category, duly listing the number of instruments — enough said, better heard.

In his Duo, Helps pours out some of his most poetic, colorful, expressive music. Ousting all of the clichés of the genre, he displays a mastery of form and development by linking some of the most unlikely episodes with an uncanny “rightness”. With fantastic sounds like one hears in Duo, one asks “what‘s in a name?”

Deceptively simple pleasures: the undulating ‘cello cadenza in Duo

View the manuscript score scanned by
Digital Commons @ University of South Florida