Quartet for Strings No.5

on a purpose-selected tone row


(1) Allegro (2) Largo molto (3) Scherzo - Trio, molto meno mosso - Tempo I (4) Presto - Poco piu mosso - Prestissimo

Date Duration Listen
27 April 2013 34'15" Realization (.MP3) Score (.PDF)
47.0 MB 612 KB

By now it should be evident I've finally learned to stop promising more free-standing lyricism in my quartets and just accepted the fact that contrapuntal density is inevitable. Resistance, as the Borg would say, is futile. Melodies will be assimilated into prevailing fugal environments.

Just one other, very personal, note on the composition at hand. When I was in my early teens, it was precisely the inner movements of Bartók's fifth string quartet that first taught me listening to music could inspire a religious, spiritual, or ecstatic experience; and the Magyar Master's quartets have never since failed me in that regard. While my own writing is in no possible sense technically or virtuosically on any level with Bartók's, the mere fact that I have managed to complete my very own fifth string quartet is a source of immeasurable - and yet profoundly humble - satisfaction to me.

And if I start to get cocky, please do not hesitate to remind me Papa Haydn wrote nearly 70 of these darned things, a clear majority of which are immortal masterpieces.

Sed ... fugit irreparabile tempus....

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