Judges' Comments on William Malpede's "Duet":
1). Loved it! It's a master class on the parts embodying the title-so many duets between parts, but different each time. Had Romantic era feel through harmonies, structure and accompaniment, which fit the history of the poem. So much I could teach with this piece!
2). I thought the melody was beautiful and parts could stand alone, even without accompaniment. However, the accompaniment was beautiful and not only supported the vocal parts but enhanced them. The piece was a true "duet" for most of the piece, pairing vocal parts in various ways. The piece also had a beginning, middle and end. There wasn't a place where I thought the composer "didn't know where to go." It is a piece I would program.
3). Concise and sensitive setting of an interesting poem, fresh and not at all derivative; harmonically traditional but surprising at times as well; nice use of several rhythmic motives (i.e. quarter-two eighths-quarter-two eighths) without becoming too repetitious; very effective and well-crafted piano accompaniment.