String quartet no. 1 : string quartet
by Stuart Greenbaum (1991)
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Library shelf no. 785.714/GRE 1 [Available for loan]
String Quartet No.1 (Time's
Arrow) was commissioned by the A.N.A. Friendly Society and
premiered in November of 1991. The subtitle, Time's Arrow, is taken from
a novel of the same name by Martin Amis and was added after the
work had been completed. The novel represents the story of a life
told backwards (from death to birth), a similarity I found in the
structure of my quartet.
The work is in 4 short movements and based around two themes. The first movement opens with a theme that represents experience or memory. The movement concludes with a second theme (in natural harmonics) which represents innocence. This second theme is coincidentally quite similar to the nursery rhyme,Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
The inner movements further develop the first theme and represent the external journey and then the floating timelessness of emotional involvement. The final movement returns to the idea of the journey but in a rapid, compressed state - like a life flashing before one's eyes - culminating in a reprise of the second theme.
Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.
Duration: 13 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by A.N.A. Friendly Society.
Revised July 2016
Performances of this work
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