String Quartet No. 4
My String Quartet No. 4 was commissioned by the Da Vinci Quartet and premiered in Denver Colorado. The work is in three movements.
Lyrical in mood, the first movement is a fantasy based on the opening melodic idea. The theme reoccurs in a variety of ways throughout the movement either in its entirety or in fragmented form. This lyrical music is interrupted abruptly by an aggressive cadenza featuring solos by the individual parts. This B section is developmental in nature and is contrasting in character and mood. The work ends with a coda stating the opening musical material.
The second movement is a raucous dance with driving ostinato rhythms presented by continually changing pairs of instruments. More soloistic in nature than the first movement, the melodic ideas are presented first by individual instruments and then later by a variety of duets. The melodic and accompanimental figures go through many combinations, which explore different colorist possibilities through change of register, texture, and timbre.
The third movement is the slowest of the three with its somewhat sad lyrical melodic line. The sense of longing is present until the end of the section when the “love theme” is played. This melodic section is inspired by the presence of new love in my life that occurred while composing the quartet. This theme acts as a closing material for the first section. The B section is more fantasy-like and improvisational in nature with it’s faster more rhythmically complex textures which gradually builds to a climax of terse chords leading back to the A section. Unlike the opening material, the return of the A section is almost completely dominated by the “love theme.”