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Charleston noir : string quartet

by Elena Kats-Chernin (1996, this version: 1997)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Goldner String Quartet from the CD Elena Kats-Chernin. Vol. 8.

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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, this version: 1997

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Medium

First performance: by Goldner String Quartet — Sep 98. University of 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.

7 May 2023: at Kismet: Vignettes for Violin and Piano (Blue Mountains Theatre). Featuring Clemens Leske.

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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