for violin, viola, cello, and piano
My Piano Quartet is in one continuous movement that lasts about 13 minutes. The declamatory opening, which returns in different guises later in the piece, quickly gives way to a wide variety of often contrapuntal textures. Although the effect of the piece is largely one of continuous flow, there is a distant echo of a more traditional four movement plan. There is an opening allegro (with an extended lyrical melody for viola towards the end) and a fast and lively finale in which short melodic ideas are passed around among the strings. In the middle section of the piece a lighter scherzando, culminating in an extended passage for pizzicato strings, is intercut with episodes of slow music. The quartet was commissioned by the Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music for the Ames Piano Quartet, and is dedicated to both of these groups, and their admirable championing of contemporary American chamber music.
premiere: November 14, 2003, Sheldon Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE, The Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music, The Ames Piano Quartet: Mahlon Darlington - violin, Jonathan Sturm - viola, George Work - cello, William David - piano.