String quartet no.2 : string quartet
by Charles Bodman Rae (2004)
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Library shelf no. CD 2164 [Not for loan]
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My First String Quartet (commissioned for the 1981 Bartok centenary) paid homage to Bartok by alluding to the Mesto from his Sixth String Quartet. My Second String Quartet also pays tribute, this time to Lutoslawski, to mark the tenth anniversary of his death (on 7 February 1994). The work is in five movements, the second, third and fourth of which develop and transform a motif that can be found in several of Lutoslawski's late works (including his Chain 2 and Symphony no.3). The motif is defined by intervals of minor thirds and perfect fifths.
The first movement is introductory in character and presents a soundscape of Australian brids some (but not all) of whom are now my closest neighbours in the Adelaide foothills. The second movement is a scherzo and trio, where the scherzo (in perpetual motion) plays with all the various pairings of players and instruments that are possible within a quartet. The third movement is an adagio that features the first violinist as soloist within the group. The fourth movement is an allegro that presents a fourteen-bar theme (of minor thirds and perfect fifths) taken through a cycle of transpositions en route to the climax of the work. The final movement is an adagio built on the chaconne principle and functions as an epilogue within the formal-dramatic scheme.
This second string quartet was written for and is dedicated (in friendship and with professional admiration for their superb music making) to the members of the Australian String Quartet.
Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.
Duration: 34 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Australian String Quartet. Written to commemorate in 2004 the tenth anniversary of the death of Witold Lutoslawski.
Commission note: Commissioned by Australian String Quartet.
First performance: by Australian String Quartet — 3 Mar 04. 2004 Adelaide Festival of Arts, Elder Hall, Adelaide.
Performances of this work
3 Mar 04: 2004 Adelaide Festival of Arts, Elder Hall, Adelaide.. Featuring Australian String Quartet.
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