From the composer: The work is an abstract instrumental character sketch casting the viola as soloist in a sort of quasi concerto—the viola as a character with distinct personality accompanied by violin, viola, cello and piano. Movement titles suggest an interesting, quilt-like work with balance, variety, and contrast. Contemporary techniques (pizzicati, angular melodies, mixed meters and unusual instrumental positionings) test the musicality and agility of the performers. I see each instrument as being of equal importance in their contribution to the work as a whole, while still allowing the soloist moments of prominence that highlight the solo viola.
Each of the first four movements begin with a duet between the soloist and one of the quartet players. In the spirit of camaraderie, the opening movement begins with a spirited duet between the two violists. The second movement begins with the dark instrumental color possibilities of both cello and viola. The third movement capitalizes on the piano’s ability to create a shimmering sound. Movement four plays to the violin’s melodic and lyrical strength. All players join in from the beginning in the final movement. In effect, each member of the quartet has introduced itself to the viola, emphasizing a particular quality of each instrument.
Sponsored by: Drs. John and Helen Schaefer