Reflections and Memories: String Quartet no. 8

Lawrence Kramer

About this work:

The title “Reflections and Memories” describes the alternating states of mind from which this quartet is built, one thoughtful and searching, the other vivid and immediate. The music imagines these states neither as opposites nor as parallels but as complements that call for and complete each other: thought seeking its sensory form and sensation seeking its place in thought. The four movements--Reflection I, "Mackerel Sky," Reflection II, and "Clouds. Wind. Stars."-- follow the quasi-Baroque pattern slow-fast-slow-fast, suggesting a cyclical process rather than a narrative progression. But the cycle is nonetheless shaped by changes of attitude, in a crisscross pattern: the second slow movement is more troubled than the first
while the first fast movement is more troubled than the second. The memories, by the way, are real ones, of cloud formations with strong personal associations. The memory movements trace the flow of such associations—it doesn’t matter what they are—while the “Reflections” trace their inner reverberations. Each of the four movements features an element of texture or melody that becomes its unique signature; the four movements are linked by a kind of quickening or pulsation that recurs throughout in different forms.

Version: 2020
Year composed:
Duration: 21:00:40
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:String Quartet

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