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
Danny Elfman's 21-minute Piano Quartet was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet who premiered the work during their 2018 US tour, and subsequently recorded it on Sony Classical.
Following a period of exclusivity in which the Berlin group performed the work widely across the US and Europe, the Piano Quartet is now available to other chamber groups. It's already been taken up by ensembles in the USA, UK, Japan, South Korea and France, with others set to follow. Piano score and parts are available on sale. Contact us for further details.
The Piano Quartet is cast in five movements: Ein Ding; Kinderspott; Duett für Vier; Ruhig; Die Wolfsjungen.
'In some ways the Piano Quartet (written at the request of players from the Berlin Philharmonic – now there’s a compliment) feels more like a concert piece in a movie-free zone. 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'The first movement, in particular, is so agitated and jittery that it’s almost derivative of Elfman’s Tim Burton scores; but the later movements had a seditious twang to them, especially the nasty children’s games of the second movement, and the crazy whirlings of the finale.'MusicWebInternational (Simon Thompson), July 2019'Elfman's love of the irreverent comes to the fore in the 'Kinderspott', with its contorted version of the nursery rhyme 'Rain, rain, go away'.'The Strad (Catherine Nelson), July 2019'Its five movements, most divided into film cue-size chunks separated by brief pauses, moved kaleidoscopically through many moods. The second movement (“Kinderspott”) was built on the universal childhood taunt “Nyah-nyah,” while the brief fourth movement (“Ruhig”) undulated smoothly. The influence of other composers’ influence shone through, too, with barbaric-edged Shostakovich in the third movement and folklike hemiola patterns, recalling Brahms or Dvorak, in the fandango-fast finale.'The Washington Post (Charles T Downey), 11 February 2018