• Karel Husa
  • String Quartet No. 3 (1968)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)

Pulitzer Prize for Music, 1969

  • 2vn, va, vc
  • 19 min

Programme Note

Composer note:

String Quartet No. 3 was composed in Ithaca during the winter 1967-68 and completed in March, 1968. in my previous quartets – one of them, No. 2, performed quite extensively by the Fine Arts Quartet – I did not preoccupy myself as much with new sonorities as in the new Quartet no. 3. Also, the form of the movements in the former two was rather traditional. The new composition explores some solo predominance, spotlighting the several instruments in rather free forms: the viola in the first movement; violoncello in the second; the two violins in the third. After Bartok, Berg, and Webern, it is not easy to imagine new ways of playing on string instruments. I feel that I have been able to find some unusual paths for bow and finger. As for the rest, I have used all the possibilities hitherto available. The forms of the four movements are few, based mostly on contrasting colors and inner tension. The work is dedicated to the Fine Arts Quartet.

--Karel Husa