• John Luther Adams
  • Canticles of the Sky (string quartet version) (2015)

  • Taiga Press (BMI) (World)

The full score is a player score and is intended for performance.

  • 2vn.va.vc
  • cello ensemble (min. 16)
  • 18 min

Programme Note

I. Sky With Four Suns
II. Sky With Four Moons
III. Sky With Nameless Colors
IV. Sky With Endless Stars

In the Arctic sky, the low angle of the sun and heavy ice crystals in the air often produce vivid halos, arcs and sundogs (parhelia). Sometimes these phenomena create the illusion of multiple suns. "Sky With Four Suns" is a musical evocation of such an apparition, from sunrise to sunset.

Similar visions also occur at night, which is the image behind "Sky With Four Moons."

"Sky With Nameless Colors" and "Sky With Endless Stars" evoke the extraordi-nary depth and clarity of Sonoran Desert skies.

This music is drawn from Canticles of the Holy Wind – a concert-length work for four choirs and vocal soloists. In this version, sixteen separate choral parts have been condensed into the string quartet.

String designations should be carefully observed. Frequent string crossings are employed to create as lush and continuous textures as possi-ble.

All sounds should be legato. Bowing is free and full throughout.

Total performance duration is about 18:00.

John Luther Adams



Preview the score