Premiered by Erik Berg Quartet, March 18, 1990, New England Conservatory of Music. Two Movements I. With Serenity II. Presto-Fugue. 2vln, vla, vc
15′

Composed at the age of 20, this is the composer’s first entreé in a medium he approached with an acute awareness of its tradition.  While the later suppleness of the composer’s own rhythmic language is still latent, in the first movement the pitch language begins to assert a degree of independence from Bartokian models–although the same may not be as true for the second movement, which was actually composed first, and whose highly chromatic, bluesy subject is self-contianed, driving and fugal.   More seeds of things Ellisonian to come appear in the more fluid, lyrical first movement, which begins with an intensely heard viola solo of serene expressivity, blending the colors of the quartet together in startling intimacies punctuated by sudden dissonant tuttis.

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