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Piano score and parts 0-571-54236-0 on sale

Programme Notes

It was 2017 and I was travelling to Berlin to hear the Berlin Philharmonic perform. As usual it was a spectacular event. While there, I met Knut Weber, their principal cellist. He was the one who suggested the possibility of writing a piano quartet for his ensemble, The Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet. I was once again faced with something to explore that I knew absolutely nothing about, so of course I immediately agreed. Having only recently finished the violin concerto, I was much more relaxed with diving into what was, for me, more uncharted territory. The idea of writing a string quartet was intimidating, as I’m so infatuated by the string quartets of Shostakovich – but the presence of a piano gave me a bit more confidence, and I loved the freedom that the genre provides. For some strange reason, my first thematic thought going into it was doing variations on the familiar children’s schoolyard taunt: “Nya, nya, nya, nya nya…” I had no idea why, but wasn't aware of anyone doing that before before and thought it would be fun. It was. You can hear it in the second movement of the quartet, “Kinderspott”. It was a great pleasure writing my first quartet for such wonderful musicians.
© Danny Elfman


'Elfman's restless nature is still pervasive - indeed, it sometimes feels like a latter-day kind of Kinderszenen, with the sinister games of the second movement ("Kinderspott") typifying the child in Elfman.'
Gramophone (Edward Seckerson), June 2019

Piano Quartet

Cafe Ludwig Series

Samueli Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Arts (Costa Mesa, CA, USA)

members of Pacific Symphony Orchestra

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