• Sofia Gubaidulina
  • String Quartet No. 4 (1993)

  • Hans Sikorski Russian Works (USA and Canada only)

Available in the USA and Canada only

  • 2 vn, va, vc
  • 12 min

Programme Note

Composer note:
What interested me especially in this piece was how the "real" arises from the "unreal": (1) The normal play of arco or pizzicato from the transparent sounds achieved by the playing of a plastic ball on the strings, (2) the "real" playing of the quartet physically present on stage from the "unreal" play of the same performers on pre-recorded tape, and (3) the real essence of the light part from the unreal (creatively speaking) white and black light. (Black and white, after all, represent the absence of light. Color loses its reality within them.)
Three trinities resulted: (1) the sound of the quartet and its two recorded hypostases, (2) the real form and its two recorded satellites, and (3) the creative reality of the play of light and its two ordinary (i.e., unreal) protagonists: complete light and complete darkness.
Is this a quartet? Or is some other title more appropriate here? However that may be, all of the details of the piece - both of its material essence and its compositional design - are derived from the basic idea: the birth of the "real genuine" from "unreal artificial" (and on no account the reverse). This was expressed best of all in the Four Quartets of T.S. Eliot. If my composition were to be heard and perceived as a musical reaction to the creative world of this great poet, I would be content.

— Sofia Gubaidulina