Quarter Days is a reflection on the passing of time – both within a minute, a day, through the seasons and within a lifetime.
Burnt Norton (No. 1 of 'Four Quartets' by T.S. Eliot)
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
The Solstices divide the year in half and the equinoxes into quarters. The quarter days, which have been observed at least since the Middle Ages, and which construct this music, are as follows:
I. Autumn Equinox (September 21st)
II. Winter Solstice (December 21st)
III. Spring Equinox (March 21st)
IV. Summer Solstice (June 21st)
My approach to writing this music was to firstly write the string quartet, and then to add the orchestra to augment the string quartet – creating a hyper-quartet, and at times an echo chamber. Divided into four movements, thematic material is threaded between them. Sometimes the quartet sings as one voice, and at other times they fragment into four individual lines, spun out through the orchestra.
– Anna Clyne