Sonata a quattro

Allen Brings

About this work:
Sonata a quattro was composed in 1992 for the percussion quartet Talujon and first performed by it in October of that year. The title was chosen to suggest the presence of classical musical principles throughout the piece despite the use of a contemporaneous language. The title was also meant to beg comparison with music written for string quartet or other such prestigious combination of instruments. The first movement progresses from a seemingly inchoate, quiet beginning through a succession of phrases to a climax which collapses immediately into a state similar to that of the beginning. The second movement is a scherzo and trio, although in duple meter, which begins with a point of imitation played first by the xylophone, then the snare drum, and finally the timpani. The Glockenspiel carries the main line in the contrasting trio section and returns briefly at the end. The slow third movement is based on a succession of ideas, some interrelated, others not, all of which contribute to the construction of an ascending arch that ends in a climax that had been prophesied at the beginning of the movement but which now "implodes" as the music regains the state that prevailed at the beginning. The last movement is based on a series of sharply defined, dance-like, phrases that stress pairs of instruments within the quartet. These combine and recombine in lively counterpoint in an uninterrupted flow until the rousing climax at the end. Score and parts are available from the publisher, Seesaw Music Corp.
Version: for percussion ensemble, 4 players
Year composed: 1992
Duration: 00:15:00
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Percussion Ensembles
Instrumentation: 1 Percussion (General)
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