By a grace of sense surrounded (String Quartet No. 1)
About this work:
Composed in one large movement, the quartet speaks of longing, struggle and memory. I structured the piece around a single obsessive phrase, heard at the very opening, from which everything else in the work departs and to which all returns. This phrase is
the 'grace of sense' which 'surrounds' the work. The phrase 'grace of sense' is borrowed from T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets. At moments, I treated the four voices as conflicting aspects of a single idea. The work is deeply personal, and I dedicate it with joy to the members of the Mendelssohn String Quartet.
String Quartet No. 1 (by a grace of sense surrounded) was commissioned by Chamber Music America for the Mendelssohn String Quartet with funds from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Year composed: 2000
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:String Quartet
Instrumentation: 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello