String Quartet 1999 [14']

 

String Quartet 1999 score

String Quartet 1999 score

During the course of its two movements, between its opening elegiac duet and the four players’ communal closing, Joelle Wallach’s String Quartet 1999 unveils a vivid inner universe. Its epigram, taken from a poem by Delmore Schwartz, “In the slight ripple, the mind perceives the heart,” suggests the nature of the music’s emotional progress: beneath soaring melodies, tiny rivulets of melodic material merge and gather, forming ever new, rushing rivers of personal passion. A poignant tenderness gives way to agitation, terror, yearning, hope and transcendence. Twice, a brave, heavy-footed little dance prickly with the bravura slapstick of responsive, swooping portamenti interrupts; and twice it is subsumed into the work’s overarching, darker texture.

String Quartet 1999 was commissioned by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music for the Muir Quartet.