Quartet for piano and strings

(2015) 22'

Commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
Recorded on Albany Records (Troy 1748)

Program note

Quartet for violin, viola, violoncello and piano was composed for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s 30th Anniversary season and was premiered on May 15, 2016 by the Clarosa Quartet. The opening Scherzo, a playful yet restlessly serious movement that gains in weight, is followed by a restful Pastorale that was inspired by the quiet and majesty of Yellowstone Park in winter. The ensuing Toccata, in effect a second scherzo, is a whirlwind of driving, biting motion that proceeds without pause to a Fantasia which reworks materials from the preceding three movements, forming a culmination and resolution. Throughout the work the pianist is called upon to produce various sounds inside the instrument: “stopped” notes (a note muted with a finger that produces a blocked or pizzicato–like sound), plucked notes (with finger or plectrum), and notes strummed in a glissando-like manner. Quartet was recorded by the Clarosa Quartet for Albany Records [Troy1748]. The work is published by Theodore Presser Co.

I. Scherzo
II. Pastorale
III. Toccata
IV. Fantasia