String quartets 12, 13 and 14 performed simultaneosly

  • 6vn.3va.3vc (3 str4tets)
  • 11 min

Programme Note

Gudmundsen-Holmgreen has written a collection of three new string quartets: String Quartet no. 12, ‘Each in Each’; String Quartet no. 13, ‘Mutual Ordering’, and String Quartet no. 14, ‘Well-Tuned Sounds’. Each quartet can be played on its own; they can also played simultaneously in any combination. When all three quartets are played together, as they are tonight, the combined work is titled All in One. About this collection, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen writes:

"Some years ago Kronos and the vocal group Theatre of Voices performed three new pieces, which I had written for the two groups: one for Theatre of Voices (Green), and two for Kronos (New Ground and No Ground). They were played and sung by each group independently – but also both groups together concurrently, on top of each other, as a final gesture. The combined pieces were called New Ground Green and No Ground Green.

"David liked the idea (and the result) of pairs of quartets that could be played both independently and simultaneously, and asked me if the vocal quartet could be transformed into a string quartet. It could not. He then asked me to repeat the whole set-up with a new pair of quartets, adding also some percussion instruments, as was the case with Green for Theatre of Voices. Of course this was tempting. Furthermore David asked me to make one of the two new quartets a little easier to play.

"I began to work. The Kronos part of the pair of quartets turned out to be tough to play, as David puts it. Unfortunately the ‘easier’ one was tough to play also! So I had to write one more, which was then a little easier still (but still not easy).

"The three new works can be played separately and on top of each other in many different combinations, resulting in different kinds of chaos. Controlled chaos, I hope.

"All this is an attempt to approach the idea of being together, in love and understanding, and to explore the difficulties and the struggles of being successful in this field.

"The titles and all the spoken words are from the famous Sonnet VIII by William Shakespeare."