String Quartet No. 9


String quartet, with optional didjeridu
String Quartet
Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia
First Performance
17.10.1975, Seymour Centre, Sydney: Austral String Quartet

Study score 0-571-50548-1 and parts 0-571-50549-X on sale

Programme Notes
Peter Sculthorpe String Quartet No. 9 (1975) The String Quartet No. 9 was commissioned in 1975 by Musica Viva with assistance from The Australia Council. I have written on the title-page: “To the Austral Quartet and to the memory of Ronald Ryder”. Since the early sixties my main concern as a composer has been to establish a musical language of my own. Although, in seeking to achieve this, I have used widely-different sources, the persistent theme of my music has been man and nature or, more exactly, the lonely figure in the landscape. In my works for string quartet, I have, in addition to this, tended to write with some yearning for the intellectual and emotional climates of Europe; this is perhaps because of the nature of the genre. Thus, String Quartet No. 9 juxtaposes and combines this yearning with music derived from Australian aboriginal sources. In one movement, this structure of the work is: A1(Introduction), B1, C, B2, A2 (Coda) Of these sections, A1, C and A2 are basically slow, with the chant-like, three-note theme first heard in the introduction flowering into what amounts to a twelve-note elegy in the central section. C, B1 and B2 are quick, the pulse being maintained by an intricate series of overlapping ostinati, a characteristic of much of my more recent music. The String Quartet No. 9 was first performed on October 17, 1975. Peter Sculthorpe

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News & Reviews

'String Quartet No 9' reviews

‘… true quartet-music, admirably conceived for the medium. I found it a most vivid and compelling piece.’ The Sunday Times (UK) (Desmond Shawe-Taylor), 7 December 1975 Read more

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