• Poul Ruders
  • Strygekvartet nr. 4 (2012)
    (String Quartet no. 4)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 2vn.va.vc
  • 22 min

Programme Note

It might be of interest for some to note, that a gap of only six months separates the writing of my second and third quartets (1979), but a 33 year interval stands between the third and the present piece, String Quartet No. 4., which is in five movements and is about nothing but itself.

The first movement Adagio - Presto alla breve - Adagio is an overture of sorts, lifting the lid, as it were, on the odd bit of what happens later on in the other movements. A portal into: The second movement, Vivo scherzando, which is just that: a short (2 minutes only) fast and jocular piece leading up to the next movement: Adagio sognante, a slow and hushed dream-world, paving the way for the pièce de resistance of the entire quartet: Presto alla breve, a ferociously fast tour de force for the four players, who, with that one under their belts, can lean back a little (but only a little) and put the whole thing gently to bed in the fifth and final movement: a simple Adagio.

Off the record: my first string quartet (1972) has been withdrawn and is no more, a fact that renders the numbering of the subsequent quartets a matter of personal conviction…

- Poul Ruders, November 2012

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