String Quartet #1 – Lineal (18:30)

My first venture into the hallowed territory of string quartet is inspired primarily by Beethoven’s monumental contribution to the genre, particularly the late quartets. It is conservative in the absence of non-traditional techniques and an emphasis on expressive melody and counterpoint. It is pure music, without any narrative or background intention, to be enjoyed as a deeply felt and sometimes playful exchange among four passionate and committed characters who express their feelings without words and in marvelous synchronicity. The four movements follow the traditional sequence and character associated with string quartet: fast and varied sonata form, slow and lyrical variations, dancelike quickness in three’s, and sonata form finale. The Prelude (Violin I) and three Interludes (Viola, Violin II, then Cello) preceding each of the four movements are variations on a common theme and give each character a chance to express on their own, backed up by their friends.
Introduction – Adagio Sostenuto – 1st violin solo (1:20)
  1. Allegro moderato (4:35) Interlude 1 – Adagio – viola solo (0:55)
  2. Andante espressivo (3:45) Interlude 2 – Animato – 2nd violin solo (0:40)
  3. Animato –(3:25) Interlude 3 – Adagio – cello solo (1:00)
  4. Allegro moderato con moto/Adagio (5:20)

The pacing, the motivic coherence, the lovely rhythmic structure, and the unique quality of each movement is all so well done! And it is deliciously playable.

Ivor Francis

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