• clarinet, violin, cello, and piano
  • 30 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:

I composed my Tashi Quartet during 1978-79 for the members of the chamber group Tashi (Peter Serkin, Fred Sherry, Ida Kavafian and Richard Stolzman) to whom the work is dedicated. I had not written any music for a year, feeling for many reasons that a particular phase of my musical life was over. Beginning to compose again I
rediscovered musical passions that had been overshadowed by the rigor of my training in the 12 tone system. I began to seek a different richness in musical expression: having composed with a pervasive and constant chromaticism, I was certain that the sophistication of the 12 tone system could embrace a great deal more fluidity and freedom: rhythmically, harmonically, and even stylistically. The Tashi Quartet sounds quite tonal yet is written with twelve-tone techniques I learned from my teachers and from the scores of late Stravinsky.

Tashi Quartet is in five movements. The first is an allegro, the third a scherzo,
and the fifth a rondo, all of which are approximately the same duration. Movements two and four are intermezzi. The second movement is somewhat balletic, in quick tempo, and the fourth is an adagio. There are numerous echoes and cross-references throughout the
piece, with each movement based on the same 12 tone set but realized each time with a different mood and manifestation.

—Peter Lieberson, 2009