String Quartet - Digital Download
Composed by Colin W Bayliss. 21st Century, 20th Century, Contemporary Classical, Neo-Classical. Performance. Published by Colin Bayliss (S0.288103).
Item Number: S0.288103
This was written in the summer of 2000 for the Lochrian Ensemble who were beginning to plan the
recording of the complete string quartets. In the context of the other string quartets, here there is a reversion
to the classical form, thus giving a balance between the "classical" quartets nos. 1, 2 and 6 and the
"kaleidoscopic" quartets nos. 3, 4 and 5.
It is in the conventional four movements:-
Allegro - This movement is in single subject sonata form using one figure. There is much use of quasimodal
writing, especially using the Lochrian and Superlochrian modes, based both on E and C and the
Mixolydian mode on E, giving a sort of tonality in which the constructional "remainder notes" of the serial
row can be used sparingly. The pull towards a tonality of F is therefore established quickly. Each section
is rounded off by the metamorphosis of the figure into a sentimental tune, but contrary to expectation,
it evolves in the coda into "something completely different" - the opening of Beethoven's F minor
string quartet Op. 95.
Scherzo - Wobblefunk and Tango After the last movement's ending has dispelled any seriousness, the
stage is set for an outrageous scherzo. After the tango, the wobblefunk section is repeated bar by bar in
reverse. Why not? It doesn't make any sense the right way round!
Historical note: the term wobblefunk was invented by the composer's son Edmund to describe a type
of subdued electronic crossover style music which he had written. In keeping with the family sense of
humour, the thought of incorporating such a movement into a serious string quartet appealed to both
Adagio - This movement is tonal and melodic, but introduced by a discordant motif which re-appears
as if to remind the listener of their own mortality. The movement progresses through the cycle of fifths
and then dissolves into a sinister coda related to the notes of the discord.
Allegro - This movement can be summed up as accepting life's problems but getting on with enjoying
the good things as well - in the spirit of the last movement of Beethoven's string quartet Op.135.
"Must it be? It must be!" Even if it includes a textural fugue! The ending, however, is decidedly not
as clear-cut as Beethoven's .......
The performance is by the Lochrian Quartet
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