• Richard Danielpour
  • String Quartet No. 5 (In Search of “La Vita Nuova”) (2004)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • 2vn, va, vc
  • 22 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:

There is something very essential about this piece. In Search of ‘La Vita Nuova’ means ‘the new life,’ really ‘the transformed life.’ It is subtitled in Italian because I have, over the past 22 years, had a longstanding love affair with certain parts of Europe, particularly Italy. That country has become a metaphor for that magical place where I can go to get renewed, but I realize now, after nearly two decades, that the magical place that one seeks is ultimately within.

This work is, in many ways, the most European and the most neo-classical of all my quartets, in the sense of going back to models and structures from the European past.

The Guarneri String Quartet’s reputation, over the past 40 years, has been steeped in that very European tradition. It made sense to me that a piece of this sort—rooted in European sensibility but written by an American composer—would be a highly appropriate work for them, considering their long history and devotion to the music of American composers. I was eager to match my own instincts and intentions with what I felt the predilections of the Guarneri Quartet would be—those of an American group, but one that has been close to the European tradition. This has been a most happy project, musically and personally. I always prefer to write music for people I genuinely like, and always enjoy the enthusiasm and jovial spirit of the members of the Guarneri Quartet.

— Richard Danielpour