Performances: After a number of performances in the US by the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, the work was performed three times in England by the Newbold Piano Quartet, in London and in Chichester, and by the Faure Piano Quartet in Germany. Further performances were given at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and by members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague.
The composer writes: “In contrast to my Quartet No. 1 played at the 1st Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, No.2 is more lyrical. The first movement begins without preamble by stating a broad melody destined to become the foundation for the work, undergoing many transformations through inversions, retrogrades, and contrapuntal variants. The brisk tempo of the opening alternates with more reflective slower sections, one of which brings the movement to a quietly expectant close.
“The second movement initially combines a short scurrying passage of two bars based on an inversion of the main melody, with an extended Adagio cantabile. The same phrase returns three more times, acting as a bridge to more lyrical sections. On its last return, the scurrying motif is extended and followed by a summing up of the slower music.
“The exposition of the final movement takes the form of a fugue, introduced by the viola, and followed by the violin, cello, and piano. As the music progresses, the develop.m.ent never strays far from the material of the fugue, except for a reflective return to the first movement.”
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