String Quartet No 2

(1989)

by Jonathan Harvey

Description
string quartet
Duration
16
Genres
String Quartet
Commission
Commissioned by the Arditti Quartet with funds provided by the ArtsCouncil of Great Britain
First Performance
17.3.89, Ars Musica 89, Brussels: Arditti Quartet
Availability

A4 score 0-571-55501-2 and parts 0-571-55502-0 on sale

Programme Notes
This one-movement quartet was generated entirely by the innocent unison melody which occurs near the beginning. Having written this melody I analysed it, (the first stage of departure from innocence) and used the background structure, a pattern of dominant sevenths mostly, to shape the piece as a whole. The melody grows in wisdom by acquiring ornaments, “radiances” of doubling, by having its segments severely developed (in passages where one instrument plays the attack and another the sustained part of a note) and by absorbing violently energetic emotional outbursts. The work was commissioned by and written for the Arditti Quartet Jonathan Harvey

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