The Distances: Piano Quartet no. 2
About this work:
The title of this piano quartet refers both to the expressive arc of its two movements and to the movements' musical processes. The slow first movement is introspective, focused intently on the implications of a single, simple four-note motive. The second movement, a little more than twice as fast, is expansive, constantly reaching out into new dimensions. In the first movement, the piano and string trio are intimate, echoing and mirroring each other continually. The second movement reverses this arrangement: here the piano and strings play mainly in alternation at first and subsequently combine by degrees until each, prompted by its contact with the other, wends its way to a place far remote from its starting point. The second movement can thus be thought of as imagining the process by which the first movement becomes possible.
On reflection, it strikes me (writing this note a few years after composing the music), that at a time in our history rife with division, a piece affirming the powers and pleasures of reconciling differences may have an extra degree of resonance.
Year composed: 2016
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Piano Quartet or Quintet