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The score for Michael Nyman's String Quartet No.1.
There are two primary ideas behind this composition, the first being to create and almost orchestral chamber music, the idea for this coming from a performance of the Grosse Fuge performed by the Arditti Quartet. The second idea was to excercise the impressive and oppresive history of the string quartet by making the work a compendium of quotations from quartet repertoire.
Influence from Schoenberg can be heard in chromatic, harmonic sequences and modal/diatonic varioations are also actively displayed within the piece. The quartet is written with amplification in mind and it is the composer's preference that it is performed in this way. String Quartet No.1 is dedicated to the memory of Thurston Dart. It was commissioned by the Arditti Quartet and first performed by them on 23 September 1985, Warsaw. Duration 26 minutes. Instrumental parts are available on sale.
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