I'll be giving the premiere of Jeffrey Harrington's 5th String Quartet on Thursday 30th April 2009, 8.30pm at the Fondation des Etats-Unis (Grand Salon), 15 boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris. Other players in the quartet are Aude de Larouzière and Guan-Xi Masse (violins) and Bénédicte de Larouzière (cello). Also on the programme will be the first performance of my own Duo for Violin and Viola called "Visconti Variations". No cello in that one, sorry....
Jeff sent me the following programme notes on his work:
My String Quartet #5 is a transcription and a musical extension of my seventh string trio, written in early 2001. My music, for the few years before that, had been becoming increasingly complex and this piece was an attempt, to write in a simpler and more directly emotional style. I had been seriously listening to the middle string quartets of Beethoven for several months, and that listening informed the composition of the piece harmonically, texturally, and in the approach to the climax. The great 8th string quartet of Shostakovich was also a model in my attempt to have simple materials drive a piece, not in a naive folkloric or utopian way, but in a manner that was new in how it continually digested its materials, reusing them in a single movement. There are continuous disruptive interruptions that cause the listener to rethink the musical materials and these are accomplished not in modernist or ironic modalities but through the innate dramatic possibilities of the musical materials. The materials, were chosen, in fact, to be explodable, and reconfigurable in multiple ways. Many of the materials are influenced by Middle Eastern melodies, and additionally, some themes were directly influenced by recent American heavy metal tunes. These melodic influences are intentionally subtle and chosen for their musical potential and are not intended to promote any type of political or cultural reading.
Here is the place to discuss about your favourite instrument in English!
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