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Golijov, Osvaldo: Qohelet (2011) 12'
for string quartet


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford, CA
St Lawrence String Quartet

Composer's Notes

Qohelet is inspired by some of the teachings and poetic images in Ecclesiastes. I thought that this short book of experience would balance in some way the youthful innocence of Yiddishbbuk, through which I first met my friends of the St. Lawrence String Quartet 20 years ago.

The first movement of the work is a meditation on motion and melancholy. Those seemingly contradictory states actually feed each other here: a lyrical line emerges in the first violin from a gritty, ever more propulsive ride in the other instruments. The first violin finally lifts in flight and the movement ends suspended in mid-air, like the sword of Don Quijote at the end of chapter VIII in that book.

The second movement flows like two slow river currents, perhaps memory and present. The merging and bifurcations of these currents are punctuated by cradling bells: reflection rather than action.

— Osvaldo Golijov

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.

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