This piece explores the changing nature of emotion focusing especially on the feeling of sorrow. The opening and ending parts of the first movement represent the overall motive of sorrow.
The first movement opens with an augmented chord G-C#-F-B and from this chord the first violin expands upwards while the cello moves downwards towards the C chord (p.2). As the melody alternates between each part, there is a subtle change in harmony which creates tension and release and changes the sound color. In addition, ornamentation in each part reinforces the movement towards the C chord. This progression represents the inner emotion of lament. Sostenuto e largamente section (p.2) - uses heterophony in order to express a feeling of chaos. Section Scherzando (p.4) uses the interval relationship M7 and m2, and is a respite from the overwhelming feeling of sorrow. The ending of the first movement (p.12) returns to create a second tension by every instrument ascending slowly, and the viola produces a distinctive melody derived from the previous chaotic section that ends on an Ab.
The second movement contrasts with the first movement in order to express a concealed, not explicit, sorrow, and differs in both tempo and texture. The tempo is a waltz that is faster than the first movement. This produces a light, playful figure and a simple melody without much ornamentation. Imitation and canonic structure emphasize the individuality of the strings.
The third movement merges material from the first movement rhythmic figure and the second movement pizzicato (p.17). It shows timbral change through con sordino, pizzicato arpeggio, and sul ponticello to display string techniques. An Allegro section (p.19) especially contrasts with Misterioso in rhythm and dynamics. In the Grazioso (p.22), random beats are accentuated by pizzicato arpeggio to de-emphasize the meter. Finally, there is a return to the ending figure of the first movement with con sordino (p.23) and sul ponticello in viola that articulates the internal tension and the timbral change to return to a voice of sorrow.
|Commitee:||Fry, James, Lee, Sung, Salness, David, Wilson, Mark|
|School:||University of Maryland, College Park|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Lament, String quartet|
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