This Quartett was
commissioned by the West Cork Chamber Music Festival with the help of a
generous donation by a Festival Friend and was premiered at the 2001 Festival
in the presence of the composer by the Florestan Trio led by Anthony Marwood
with James Boyd on viola. The commission was for a work of twenty minutes, the
premiere lasted a memorable forty two minutes throwing schedules into disarray
and resulting in the late-night performance of Pierrot Lunaire ending long after midnight. And that is surely how
Festivals should be.
The new version has been recorded twice in the last
year indicating the growing popularity of this passionate work. It is played
without a break, each new movement breaking at the climax of the previous one.
The composer describes it as follows:
Preludio – based
on a diatonic motif of a fifth. The introduction gradually swells from
pianissimo to fortissimo
Danze – based
on a motif that is very close to Latvian folk music. Sizzling with energy.
drammatici – the turning point of the piece. High spiritual
suspense. Questions without answers.
passacaglia – composed from three complementary themes. An
aggressive, fateful passacaglia, followed by a sarcastic march and a very
explosive toccata. The climax of the movement – a black hole.
principale - glorious
incantation in the strings, accompanied by piano. A song of praise to faith and
– a change in tone at the final climax: the quartet ends in a poignant
but hope ful atmosphere.