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String Quartet No 5

By Colin W Bayliss

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String Quartet No 5
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String Quartet - Digital Download
Composed by Colin W Bayliss. 21st Century, 20th Century, Contemporary Classical, Neo-Classical. Performance. Published by Colin Bayliss (S0.288099).

Item Number: S0.288099

This work was written in 1999 for an international competition for quartets reflecting in music the visions
in three of Edvard Munch's paintings. It is dedicated to the composer's wife, Rayna.
1.
The Scream - Moderato - There are 51 versions of The Scream and the movement is in 51 sections
grouped roughly into sonata form. The development is largely textural, and the movement hinges about
a chord formed of open fifths a major third apart which will also re-appear in the other movements to give
the quartet its sense of unity. The screaming is both audible and silent, and the footsteps on the bridge are
portrayed both in a sense of passing by and also of running away.
2.
Melancholy - Andante - Munch gave other titles to this painting, namely Jappe by the Shore and
Jealousy
. As jealousy and melancholy are retrospective emotions, tonal and modal music is employed,
using the Norwegian folk song
Millom bakkar og berg ut met havet set in a minor key for the first section.
The A-B-A form then partially loses tonality for
Jealousy, while returning to it for Melancholy itself.
3.
The Dance of Life - Allegro - This movement is in rondo form, with hints of Norwegian country
dances for the dancers in the painting. The two women are portrayed as one looking nostalgically to the
light-heartedness of the old waltz and the other brooding on the darkness and latent sexuality of the new
tango, the melodies for both of which are also corruptions of the country dances. The "Munch" chord
alters the perspective on the scene as the movement progresses and eventually dissolves at the end as
though the onlooker is passing on to another, equally unresolved future.

The work is performed by the Lochrian Quartet

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