• Gerard Schurmann
  • Quartet No. 2 for Piano and Strings (1998)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • pf/vn.va.vc
  • 22 min

Programme Note

I. Allegro moderato
II. Scorrevole - Adagio cantabile
III. Allegro molto

This work was commissioned by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music for their 50th music season, and the 5th Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival.

In contrast to the composer’s first Quartet for the same combination of instruments, this is in general perhaps a more lyrical piece. The first movement begins without preamble by stating a broad melody which is destined to become the foundation for the whole work, undergoing many transformations through inversions, retrogrades and contrapuntal variants. The fairly brisk tempo of the opening alternates with more reflective slower sections, one of which eventually brings the movement to a quietly expectant close.

The second movement initially combines a short scurrying passage of two bars, based on an inversion of the main melody, with an extended Adagio cantabile. the same scurrying phrase returns a further three times, and always acts as a bridge to more broadly lyrical sections. On its last return, the scurrying motif is extended to 17 bars, followed by a final summing up of the slow music.

The exposition of the material in the last movement takes the form of a fugue, introduced by the viola, followed by the violin, the cello and the piano, in that order. As the music progresses, the development never strays far from the material of the fugue, except for a reflective return to the first movement.


I. Allegro moderato
II. Scorrevole - Adagion cantabile
III. Alegro molto


Score sample