Greenberg: Four Scenes

Greenberg: Four Scenes
Jay Greenberg's Four Scenes was premiered to critical acclaim 15 August 2008 by the Sejong Soloists at the Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea.

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