Greenberg: Four Scenes
11th September 2008
The composer has described Four Scenes as "a work for double string quartet, antiphonally spaced; the pieces attempt to capture the mood, if not the actual content, of several Korean folk tales. I was drawn to the subtle but present differences between Korean and better-known European fairy tales; perhaps most importantly, numerous such tales have not been softened up or prettified for more upper-class readers, as is common in Western literature, and thus end in violent, tragic, or unexpected ways and/or feature content that would have been considered unacceptable in Europe of the same period."
The piece climaxed in the third "Scene," a most hauntingly beautiful, dramatic adagio where the strings weep bitterly. The narrative melody evoked tears in listeners, particularly Korean ones who share a sixth sense for "han" — a cornerstone of the Korean spirit that can be roughly described as pervasive, begrudged sadness imbedded in a country whose history is marked by wars and division....Four Scenes is highly deserving of many more performances.
Lee Hyo-won, Korea Times