Login

Enter your username and password

Forgotten your username or password?

Your Shopping Cart

There are no items in your shopping cart.

Work

String quartet no. 3 : Summer dances : string quartet

by Ross Edwards (2012)

String quartet no. 3

$44.18

Add to cart

Score

String quartet no. 3 : Summer dances / Ross Edwards.

Library shelf no. 785.714/EDW 7 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Many years ago, when I was living in a coastal village north of Sydney, I made a habit of walking each morning on the local fire trail before starting the day's work. In spring and summer the bush was alive with myriad sounds of bird and insect life which gradually began to influence the rhythmic and melodic shapes of my music. A solo insect voice once sparked off an entire string quartet, and thirty years later I joyfully reclaimed material from this early work, refining its details and compressing them into an ecstatic, chant-like continuum outside linear time. This movement, the second, I've titled 'Fire Trail'. It seemed fitting to preface it with a brief reference to my setting - in a song cycle, Five Senses (2012) - of Judith Wright's poem The Forest: 'When first I knew this forest its flowers were strangeā€¦' On the Warrah Fire Trail, all those years ago, I experienced at first hand the strangeness of the Australian bush and found my musical voice.

In music, drones are universal: to me they represent the earth. I've always found the drones produced by cicadas and other insects entrancing, as though pregnant with secret meaning that lies just beyond human understanding. The third movement, a sombre, interior nocturne, elaborates a melodic line that floats above and sometimes interfuses with a composite drone. It concludes with a restatement of the song-like introduction to the quartet.

The fourth movement, Lotus Dance, rekindles my obsession with the universal symbol of an Earth Mother, nurturer and protector of the environment. As in my saxophone concerto, Full Moon Dances (2011), the Virgin Mary and the graceful South East Asian goddess of compassion, Guan-Yin, join in calm contemplation of the world's suffering and the crisis of the environment. This gentle dance, which blooms out of a fragment of mediaeval European plainsong, gradually acquires wider cultural associations. It persists, just audibly, into a central episode of ardent supplication before resuming its tranquil course.

The fifth and final movement ritualizes the shrill voices of summer into vigorous patterns. The impression is of a fragment detached from an ecstatic dance - an age-old ceremony performed in many cultures to promote and celebrate mystical union with the earth.

Work Details

Year: 2012

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 18 min.

Contents note: 1. Introduction: Forest I -- 2. Fire Trail -- 3. Nocturne: Forest II -- 4. Lotus Dance -- 5. Ecstatic Dance.

Dedication note: Dedicated to Ken Tribe

Commission note: Commissioned by Kim Williams for performance by Musica Viva Australia.

First performance: by Kelemen Quartet at Kelemen Quartet (Perth Concert Hall) on 17 Feb 2014

Performances of this work

27 Sep 2016: at Jerusalem Quartet: Ross Edwards (Elisabeth Murdoch Hall). Featuring Jerusalem Quartet.

24 Sep 2016: at Jerusalem Quartet: Ross Edwards (City Recital Hall Angel Place). Featuring Jerusalem Quartet.

22 Sep 2016: at Jerusalem Quartet: Ross Edwards (Newcastle Conservatorium Concert Hall). Featuring Jerusalem Quartet.

21 Sep 2016: at Jerusalem Quartet: Ross Edwards (Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University). Featuring Jerusalem Quartet.

19 Sep 2016: at Jerusalem Quartet: Ross Edwards (City Recital Hall Angel Place). Featuring Jerusalem Quartet.

17 Sep 2016: at Jerusalem Quartet: Ross Edwards (Elisabeth Murdoch Hall). Featuring Jerusalem Quartet.

15 Sep 2016: at Jerusalem Quartet: Ross Edwards (Adelaide Town Hall). Featuring Jerusalem Quartet.

13 Sep 2016: at Jerusalem Quartet: Ross Edwards (Perth Concert Hall). Featuring Jerusalem Quartet.

14 Oct 2015: at Orava Quartet (Collins St Baptist Church). Featuring Orava Quartet.

11 Apr 2015: at Concert 4 (Verbrugghen Hall).

22 Feb 2014: at Kelemen Quartet (City Recital Hall Angel Place). Featuring Kelemen Quartet.

20 Feb 2014: at Kelemen Quartet (Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Kelemen Quartet.

17 Feb 2014: at Kelemen Quartet (Perth Concert Hall). Featuring Kelemen Quartet.

User reviews

Be the first to share your thoughts, opinions and insights about this work.

To post a comment please login.