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IXXU for string quartet

Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)

Vanburgh Quartet (photo credit: Miki Barlok)

Vanburgh Quartet (photo credit: Miki Barlok)

Composer
Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)
Composition Year
1998-2004
Work Movements
1. flüchtig, nervös (attacca)
2. sehr schnell, präzise (attacca)
3. ruhig
Artists
RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet (Gregory Ellis, Keith Pascoe [violins], Simon Aspell [viola], Christopher Marwood [cello])

Programme Note Writer:
© Thomas Larcher

The string quartets IXXU and Cold Farmer [1990] are expressions of completely different phases of my life and work, but in spite of this they are very closely related. Composing Cold Farmer was like impulsively tearing myself free of musical conventions and from actual as well as imagined restraints. It was like stepping or falling into uncertainty, into a perilous state, an unconditional leap into spontaneity…like gasping for a painful but life-saving breath after having been under water too long.

IXXU originated in a completely different way: there seemed no other possibility than to try again and again to free myself from the constraints of my already engrained compositional style, but I found no avenue of escape. My engrained compositional style had manifested itself in the inability to tear free of certain keys (in this and other cases D sharp) in an energy-laden, rhythmic movement which escalated the tempo obsessively in its desire to break loose, as well as in moments of an exhausted, deceptive quietude.

I was only able to complete IXXU in three stages, with several years in between each one. At the end of each stage, it was impossible for me to continue with the composition: later, however, I was driven to carry on. The only possibility for doing this was, as I saw it, to proceed on the basis of fragments, striking particles out of Cold Farmer that now seem to me to protrude from IXXU like solidified columns of lava. Having landed at point zero in my disorientation, I could only begin where I had already been once before.

Subsequently these relics turned out to be just that and were only comprehensible to me on the surface. Nevertheless in the end during a performance a wholly new piece emerges before me.

IXXU was commissioned by the Davos Festival. The premiere was given by the Rosamunde Quartet in 2005.

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IXXU for string quartet

Composer: Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)
Performance date: Wednesday 4th July 2012
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

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http://archive.westcorkmusic.ie/details/view/cmf/164

Composer Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)
Work Title IXXU for string quartet
Composition Year 1998-2004
Work Movements 1. flüchtig, nervös (attacca)
2. sehr schnell, präzise (attacca)
3. ruhig
Artist(s) RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet (Gregory Ellis, Keith Pascoe [violins], Simon Aspell [viola], Christopher Marwood [cello])
Performance Date Wednesday 4th July 2012
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Main Evening Concert
Duration 00:15:05
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category String Quartet
Instrumentation 2vn, va, vc
Programme Note Writer © Thomas Larcher

The string quartets IXXU and Cold Farmer [1990] are expressions of completely different phases of my life and work, but in spite of this they are very closely related. Composing Cold Farmer was like impulsively tearing myself free of musical conventions and from actual as well as imagined restraints. It was like stepping or falling into uncertainty, into a perilous state, an unconditional leap into spontaneity…like gasping for a painful but life-saving breath after having been under water too long.

IXXU originated in a completely different way: there seemed no other possibility than to try again and again to free myself from the constraints of my already engrained compositional style, but I found no avenue of escape. My engrained compositional style had manifested itself in the inability to tear free of certain keys (in this and other cases D sharp) in an energy-laden, rhythmic movement which escalated the tempo obsessively in its desire to break loose, as well as in moments of an exhausted, deceptive quietude.

I was only able to complete IXXU in three stages, with several years in between each one. At the end of each stage, it was impossible for me to continue with the composition: later, however, I was driven to carry on. The only possibility for doing this was, as I saw it, to proceed on the basis of fragments, striking particles out of Cold Farmer that now seem to me to protrude from IXXU like solidified columns of lava. Having landed at point zero in my disorientation, I could only begin where I had already been once before.

Subsequently these relics turned out to be just that and were only comprehensible to me on the surface. Nevertheless in the end during a performance a wholly new piece emerges before me.

IXXU was commissioned by the Davos Festival. The premiere was given by the Rosamunde Quartet in 2005.