The Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, born in 1933, readily acknowledges the influence of national, religious, and folk traditions upon his music, even upon the avant-garde works which made his name in the late 1950s. His String Quartet No.1 Already it is Dusk, composed for the Kronos Quartet in 1988, is no exception. The title is taken from the text of the folk melody which provides the basic material of the work, heard first in the form of a cantus firmus in the viola. In the second section's tempestuoso dance, reference is also made to the folk music of the mountainous Tatra region, beloved by the composer, where the combination of three fiddles with a cello is a characteristic ensemble.
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