• Aulis Sallinen
  • String Quartet No. 5 (Pieces of Mosaic) (1983)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and the Helsinki Festival, Finland

  • String Quartet
  • 25 min

Programme Note

This work is a departure from previous quartet compositions by Sallinen - more introspective and more fragmented. The pieces of mosaic of the title are 16 short, individualized pieces framed by a moment of silence and tied together with the same overall mood of darkness that characterizes the last four Shostakovich quartets. There is also a similar tempo throughout, with the pace picking up a bit toward the middle of the work and then tapering off again in the pieces toward the end. The sound of fluttering, in the form of trills, tremolos and ponticello, is also a common element among the musical fragments.

Characteristic of Sallinen's work, the quartet is written very evenly, calling equally upon the contributions of each quartet musician.