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Barossa Girl : string quartet tribute to Ruth Prescott

by Becky Llewellyn (2021)

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Work Overview

The gold standard for composers who try to portray the character of someone in a classical style is Elgar's 'Enigma Variations'. This genre is not often attempted.
Llewellyn has written this quartet in a lockdown year as a homage to a dynamic friend of many decades. She wrote several draft movements before settling on the best way to fulfill this commission. How do you summarise a life through music?
The first movement opens to reveal childhood fun with her many siblings. The second slower movement has a theme based on her mother's name, Edna (E-D & A) whom she loved deeply. The third movement is full of the energy, drive and passion of Ruth's work leadership and work ethic. Finally, a solemn, but uplifting tribute to her faith in facing a terminal illness in her mid-60s.
It is Llewellyn's musical portrait of her friend, but also a journey we each make through the many wondrous stages of life's unfolding.
The string quartet is the perfect instrumental ensemble to reveal these many life colours, full of feeling as the various movements unfold with the four intertwining voices. The music suits a professional quartet.
Early listeners have found the work 'joyful, captivating...haunting'.

Work Details

Year: 2021

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 15 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — strong ensemble cohesiveness

Commission note: commissioned by Kelvyn Prescott OAM as a tribute to his wife Ruth

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc in relation to this work:
In memoriam quartets, musical portraits

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