String quartet No.1 : string quartet
by David Hush (1988)
The use of sonata form in the first and third movements reflects the "classicism" of the work. Yet the Quartet is "classical" only by analogy since it is not written in the harmonic idiom of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Quartet is, therefore, a late 20th century metaphor for sonata form.
The first movement uses different thematic material from the finale. However, the first and third movements are both written in sonata form, and in each movement, the development section draws upon thematic material in sequences generated by perfect intervals between pairs of instruments. In the development of the first movement, the first and second violins play in octaves; so do the viola and the cello. In the development of the finale, the first and second violins give an ascending sequence in fifths; this is complemented by a descending sequence in fourths by the viola and the cello.
The second movement divides into a series of short episodes. Each member of the quartet has a solo; the movement thus unfolds in a manner similar to a dialogue. The solo episodes are contrasted with ensemble episodes that are a direct quotation from Haydn's Quartet Op. 64/3.
Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.
Duration: 22 min.
Contents note: In 3 movements
First performance: by Guarneri Quartet — 16 Feb 95. Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Performances of this work
16 Feb 95: Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Featuring Guarneri Quartet.
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