Smith's Alchemy - arrangement of String Quartet No 3

(2001)

by Carl Vine

Description
string orchestra
Duration
15
Genres
String Orchestra
First Performance
17.11.01: Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti
Availability

Score and parts for hire

Score 0-571-52252-1 on sale

Programme Notes

My third string quartet was commissioned by the Smith Quartet (London) and first performed by them in 1994 at the Brighton Festival. The work more or less disappeared from view until 2000, when the Goldner String Quartet played it at the opening of the Angel Place Recital Hall in Sydney. It was this performance that caught the ear of Richard Tognetti, Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and he asked whether it could be arranged for his band. The intention of the original work was to transform four stringed instruments into a single "super" instrument while capitalising on their natural singing qualities. A kind of aural alchemy. Although the very structure of the original work was predicated on the techniques used to create certain effects, this remains much the same in the new version for string orchestra, and some parts required little amendment. The potential to "share" difficult techniques across more than one instrument has in many ways liberated the music, allowing greater emphasis on its lyric qualities.

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