For Rosa : for string quartet
by Elena Kats-Chernin (2001)
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Library shelf no. CD 1130 [Available for loan]
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Commissioned by Joyce Evans for Musica Viva Australia in memory
of Rosa Zerfas (born Kempler) 1898-1983
for Karol Szymanowski string quartet
When I was approached to write this five-minute piece by Rosa's
daughter Joyce Evans as a tribute to her mother she asked me to
use one or both of the melodies that her mother used to sing: one
a well-known lullaby melody and the other a Polish folk song. I
was intrigued by Rosa's story. What impressed me most
was the strength and generosity of spirit that this woman possessed, helping people whom she'd never met before.
One of the more concrete stories was about how she made her wealth by investing a pound. I took up on that idea and am starting my piece with violin solo melody, in constant movement, based on the lullaby. The others join in gradually one by one and build a stronger structure as the piece progresses, reflecting upon different aspects of Rosa, including those as the 'tough negotiator' or 'energetic person' as well as elegant, highly disciplined and hard working.
(Extra info: The piece has a lot of changes of meter, sometimes each bar and has at its basis a circular kind of motiv.)
Later, in December 2003, a piece Blue Rose was written as a version of FOR ROSA, when someone asked for a shorter and simpified piece..., for CD "Ragtime & Blue".
Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.
Duration: 7 min.
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