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“Twisted Blues with Twisted Ballad” is Turnage’s second string quartet. Because of the ‘intimidating repertoire’ of the string quartet, he decided to approach the medium from a different angle. Like two other works from the same period (“Grazioso!” and “Out of Black Dust”), this piece reflects the influence of the British rock band Led Zeppelin. The first movement, “Twisted Blues”, is a continuous fantasia on some of the component parts of an early Led Zeppelin song, “Dazed and Confused”, with consistently loud dynamics, heavy attacks, percussive pizzicatos and moments of distortion.The second movement, “Funeral Blues”, is a contrasting interlude unrelated to the music of Led Zeppelin, though consistent with its surroundings in its rich bluesy harmonies and an improvisatory quality of melodic writing.The final movement, “Twisted Ballad”, is based on one of Led Zeppelin’s most well-known numbers, “Stairway to Heaven”. Following the structure of the original, the movement begins quietly and simply, and gradually gains in tempo and excitement towards a vehemently aggressive climax.

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