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String Quartet No 5 : Gregorian Funk

by Romano Crivici (2016)

Audio Sample

Performance by Elektra String Quartet from the CD Ebb & Flow

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Ebb & Flow


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Work Overview

Gregorian Funk was written very specifically with the Elektra String Quartet's performance needs in mind, as a work to be performed in one of Sydney's jazz venues.

Similarly to Quartet No 4, Gregorian Funk came about from my desire to complete at least some of my many incomplete works, and to give myself a focus and purpose during a difficult period in my life. It was included as part of an Australia Council application to record a number of significant 'completed' works of mine. I started work on them even before I found out I was successful in my application.

A name is a strange thing, sometimes applied seriously, meaningfully, even programmatic. The naming of this work however, was originally a comment on, or subtle reference to the ongoing humour, sexual and otherwise that was part of the very relaxed working relationships and deep friendships within the quartet. As well, it refers to the vaguely chant-like nature of the theme. As I kept writing Gregorian, I ended up exploring something of my own feelings about the broader realm of human desire, attachment and loss, which became clearer to me as I emotionally, even spiritually identified with the Postscript.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 29 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Complex (but jazz/rock groove) rhythmic playing. Extended solo cello intro. Section for either 1st or 2nd violin to improvise (optional, can be cut)

Contents note: 1. Introitus (solo cello) -- 2. Allegro -- 3. Hymnos -- 4. Passacaglia -- 5. Postscript: as I lay me down....

Commission note: Commissioned by Elektra String Quartet.

The composer notes the following styles, influences, etc. associated with this work:
Gregorian chant, jazz, heavy metal, Bartok ambient groove.... say no more!

The composer quotes this review:
"Crivici, composer and, here, violinist, operates simultaneously from within and without traditions, moving from intricate counterpoint to free-form improvisations. ….. String Quartet No 5, Gregorian Funk, stands out as a real exploration, playful and dangerous, from the haunting cello solo of the Introitus to a funky, chugging Passacaglia to the string quartet screamo of Hymnos" Harriet Cunningham SMH, May 2018 ★★★½☆

Originally written in 1990s.

Revised 2015

Performances of this work

2015: Sydney Spring Festival, Venue505, Sydney. Featuring Elektra String Quartet.

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