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String Quartet No. 1

1995-96 – for string quartet – 15:00

Sheet Music

1st Movement: Score & Parts (pdf)
2nd Movement: Score & Parts (pdf)
3rd Movement: Score & Parts (pdf)

Performances

World Premiere:
March 14 and March 31, 1996
Toronto Canada

Recording

Date: March 31, 1996
Musicians: Soo-Jung Yu (violin), Stephanie Numan (violin), Cindy Babyn (viola), Meran Currie-Roberts (cello)
Engineer: Frank Horvat
Location: University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, Walter Hall

  1. String Quartet No. 1 - First Movement (live) Soo-Jung Yu (violin), Stephanie Numan (violin), Cindy Babyn (viola), Meran Currie-Roberts (cello) 04:14
  2. String Quartet No. 1 - Second Movement (live) Soo-Jung Yu (violin), Stephanie Numan (violin), Cindy Babyn (viola), Meran Currie-Roberts (cello) 03:40
  3. String Quartet No. 1 - Third Movement (live) Soo-Jung Yu (violin), Stephanie Numan (violin), Cindy Babyn (viola), Meran Currie-Roberts (cello) 07:04

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Programme Notes

1st movement (4min) – Moderato Cantabile
After attending a performance of Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion, & Celeste, I was inspired by his contrapuntal treatment of the strings in the opening. My imitative material uses a very lyrical subject that at times morphs into something chaotic. But me being a tease, it’s just a brief sojourn into anarchy before I return to the sweet subject of the movement.

2nd movement (4min) – Adagio non vibrato
In this slow movement, I worked towards creating a “dry” tone free of the techniques that normally shapes lyrical strings music in the traditional Romantic sense. Texturally, I preferred a more choral-like and homophonic treatment with paralellism of the harmony that gives the movement a slight twinge of the macabre.

3rd movement (7min) – Energico
Definitely the more virtuosic of the 3 movements, this finale features a lot of “sawing” of the bows. The intense rhythmic nature of the movement suddenly gives way to a change in character; the middle section decides to pay hommage to the previous 2 movements with a slower, dryer tone and entries of the individual voices in fugal manner. Later, tremolo is used in all instruments at the same time to create a mood of extreme tension. The coda is the ultimate contrast from the rest of the movement since it features a very foreboding, non-rhythmic tone.

– Frank Horvat

LT#005

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