string quartet
String Quartet

Commissioned by the Endellion String Quartet with funds from the Holst Foundation

First Performance
16.11.1994, Cambridge Elgar Festival, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, UK: Endellion String Quartet

Score 0571515185 and parts 0571554938 on sale

Programme Notes

I Venezia notturno
II Das klinget so herrlich, das klinget so schon
III Auf dem Wasser zu singen
IV Et… (tango mortale)
V L’Embarquement
VI O Albion
VII Lethe

Six of the seven titles which comprise Arcadiana evoke various vanished or vanishing ‘idylls’. The odd-numbered movements are all aquatic, and would splice if played consecutively. I might be the ballad of some lugubrious gondolier; III takes a title and a figuration from a Schubert Lied; in V a ship is seen swirling away to L’Isle Joyeuse; VII is the River of Oblivion.

The second and sixth movements inhabit pastoral Arcadias, respectively: Mozart’s ‘Kingdom of Night’, and more local fields. The joker in this pack is the fourth movement, the literal dead centre: Poussin’s tomb bearing the inscription Even in Arcady am I.

Arcadiana was commissioned by the Endellion Quartet with funds from the Holst Foundation.

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