Duo Concertante —1990

Duo Concertante was commissioned by violinist Scott St. John for his Young Concert Artists recital at the 92nd Street Y in New York, NY accompanied by Robert Koenig on piano.


  1. Aggressive – Rhapsodic – Belligerent
  2. Tender, Conciliatory – Intimate, Intense
  3. Largo Maestoso – Seething, Incisive – Belligerent – Cantabile – Tranquil

Program Notes

Duo Concertante is a work of sharp, sometimes sudden, contrasts.  The opening phrases were composed in reaction to a disturbing scene I witnessed on a New York City subway:  a riotous gang of children physically and verbally harassed the adult passengers, who seemed strangely helpless and weak.  The second movement is a response to the first, transforming the spirit of the music from its state of hostility to one of good will.  The third movement further explores and develops the ideas from the first and second movements, in an effort to reconcile their contrasting characteristics.


That dynamic, fierce piece [Duo Concertante] sent the bow flying and sent Koenig into waves of repeated notes, driving patterns and an occasional plucked string inside the piano. Its energy and insistence echoed some of Bartok’s driving pieces, but its voice was distinctive and the two performers made it sound celebratory.

Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 8, 1991

The first movement [of Duo Concertante] is energetic, the second songful and lovely, the last percussive. It was played with great affection.

Strings Magazine, September 1, 1991


…a fairly conservative, attractive piece that begins and ends with bursts of rhythmic energy that surround an elegiac central movement. Mr. St. John and Mr. Koenig played the work with the balance of vitality and sentiment it seemed to require.

Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, February 18, 1991

The players relished the syncopated rhythms and astringency in Maggio’s Duo Concertante, a neat work in which the pianist exploits the innards of the instrument for coloristic variety.

Donald Rosenberg, The Pittsburgh Press, October 17, 1991

The first movement, titled ‘Aggressive,’ opens with loud dissonances, quick swells, abrupt meter changes, and rapid-fire exchange between violin and piano. The second movement, ‘Tender, Conciliatory,’ provides a marked contrast and reaction to the first, with slow, gentle lines and soft dynamic levels.

American String Teacher