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Richard Blackford: Kalon for String Quartet and String Orchestra



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Kalon is the classical Greek expression for perfect physical and moral beauty. The three movements explore different aspects of kalon, also the context in which beauty can exist in ugliness and darkness. The string quartet assumes a different persona for each movement, like an actor adopting a different mask for three acts of a play. A feature of the music is the independence of the two string groups which, in the first two movements, predominantly play in independent tempi. Even when in tempo unison the two groups have musical lives of their own, either complimenting each other or interrupting and making dramatic contrasts. The first and third movements are fast and celebratory, enjoying the clear tempo independence of the two groups. The second, by far the longest, blurs the musical contours and, with its two central quotes from Beethoven's String Quartet No. 13 Opus 130, is an elegy for those forced to create kalon in the midst of death and suffering. The title 'Beklemmt' refers to the eight-bar passage in the Beethoven's Cavatina movement in which the first violin becomes disassociated from the rest of the quartet, almost as if the 'oppressed, stifled, anguished' melody of its title has become lost in another world. I am indebted to Martyn Brabbins for his practical advice on composing in two simultaneous tempi and for convincing me that Kalon can be performed with one conductor, rather than with two. Also my thanks to John Pickard for his support and encouragement, especially when I despaired of making the piece work as I had imagined it.' - Richard Blackford
Facts
Item number NMP1054
Barcode 9790708167037
Release date 01/05/2018
Category Sheet Music
Label Nimbus Music Publishing
Media type BOOK
Number of units 1
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