Duration: ca. 12:30
Level of difficulty: Moderate to challenging.
Performance History: Performed by the SUNY Stony Brook Chamber Players in March, 1998.
Quartet is published by: Coho Music Publications
The Quartet for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, and Cello was written between 1987 and 1988. The quartet is in three movements, Adagio Molto, Scherzando, and Adagio Molto-Allegro. The first movement immediately sets a strident tone with its emphasis upon dissonant intervals. However, the use of lyrical melodic lines and counterpoint (including a fugato-like passage) are also clearly evident.
The second movement creates a dialogue among pairs, in this case, pairs of winds and pairs of strings. The use of asymmetrical meters serves to maintain the movement light, scherzando quality. A middle section, comparable to a Trio section in a classical scherzo movement, offers a slightly different tone with its graceful use of trills. Following this section The opening material returns, creating a conventional A-B-A form for the movement.
The third movement begins slowly and showcases the qualities of each instrument as the clarinet, viola, flute, and cello take turns playing free, cadenza-like passages. Between these passages are interjections by the entire ensemble. The final Allegro section returns to the tone established at the beginning with its use of bracing dissonance and contrapuntal interplay.