String quartet

Duration: 22 minutes

Commissioned By:
The Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa for the Cleveland String Quartet

May 1, 1991 by the Cleveland String Quartet at Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa

Available From:
Oxford University Press, rented by C.F. Peters

Composer's Notes:
The work of three theorists, Arnold Schoenberg, Heinrich Schenker, and Joseph Schillinger has dominated the thinking of aspiring composers. Schoenberg’s twelve-tone methodology inspired composers of abstract concert music while Schillinger’s work in rhythm-based musical theory was studied and adopted by George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and their contemporaries. Schenker’s work reduces all compositions to basic chords, and has significant resonances in the harmonization of early rock and roll. My work is a collection of the gestures which suggest each theorist’s essence. Each of the three untitled movements is an essay from the point of view of each of the three theorists. Each movement, and particularly the third, exposes my own personal belief that the single most important change in the perception of music created throughout this century is the general shift from melody-dominated texture to rhythmically-defined texture. This shift, which was heralded by Stravinsky in the Rite of Spring, affects every aspect of how we compose, practice, perform, listen to, write about, and perceive music. An aural history of the phenomena can be had by observing the change in melody in popular song from 1935 to the present, or, if you will, from the song Deep Purple to Pinball Wizard.
— Libby Larsen, 1990
To rent this piece, please visit C.F. Peters.

Score Errata:
Movement 1:
m.61: vln 2 arco
m.72-76: vln 2 and vla slurred
m.132: vnc missing dotted 1/8th rest, beat 3
m.137: all parts should have last beat dotted 1/8th and 2 1/32nds
m.149: vln 2, vla, vnc beats 3 and 4 should match vln 1

Movement 2:
Tempo is quarter=90
m.47: vnc beat 4 needs an 1/8th rest after it
m.58: vla beat 4 A natural

Movement 3:
m.29: vnc gliss between beat 1 and 2
m.30: vnc ord. at second 1/8th note
m.38: vnc slurred as in m.36
m.67: vla beat 2 D#
m.88: all parts quarter=dotted quarter
m.99: vln 2 senza sord
m.105: vln 2, vla, and vnc mf