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Charleston noir : for double bass quartet

by Elena Kats-Chernin (1996)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Kees Boersma, Kristy McCahon, Alex Henery, Damien Eckerlsey from the CD Chamber of horrors

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Chamber of horrors


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Chamber of horrors / Elena Kats-Chernin.

Library shelf no. CD 1678 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

This piece exists in a number of versions. Originally commissioned by Tall Poppies (Australian CD label) for 4 double basses, it became a piece for piano solo in 1996. A year later a somewhat shortened string quartet version followed.

At the core of it lies the charleston rhythm in the lower register, in quite a dissonant manner-based on an interval of the major seventh. Even though the overall tone of the piece is quite edgy, dark and harsh, the piece also has some light moments. It is a very free approach to a genre which, as a starting point, inspired me. I have always had a fondness for charleston and ragtime.
The originally requested piece for four double basses got written, starting similarly to the piano version, but developing in a different way. That version exists on Tall Poppies CD "Chamber of Horrors".

EKC, July 2008

Work Details

Year: 1996

Instrumentation: 4 double basses.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Medium

Commission note: Commissioned by Tall Poppies with funds provided by Australia Council. Performing Arts Board.

Written during the composer's time at Peggy Glanville-Hicks House, Paddington, Sydney.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
1996 Jean Bogan Prize for Piano Composition Winner Elena Kats-Chernin

Performances of this work

Unknown date: featuring Lisa Moore.

2 Sep 2009: at The Silvan Quartet (Christ Church St Laurence). Featuring Silvan Quartet.

Sep 98: University of Sydney. Featuring Goldner String Quartet.

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