String Quintet No. 1 in A Major, "Spring": IV. Finale

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String Quintet No. 1 in A Major, "Spring": IV. Finale


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
8 minutes
Modern classical music
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Commentary by Left Brain and Right Brain. LB: "After the key changes of the previous 3 movements, the Finale in modified sonata form remains in 3 sharps throughout. Theme I in F-Sharp Minor hints at the opening of the first movement. Theme II in A Major reprises the soaring Trio from the Scherzo, in 6/4 time over the basic 4/4 rhythm. The Development is a brisk Fughetta and a Passacaglia, both based on Theme I. The Passacaglia recalls themes from all 4 movements as it builds into rich quintuple polyphony. Did you know that the word 'Passacaglia' literally means 'running the street' in Italian?" RB: "Why don't you go to Rome and frolic in heavy traffic? The reprise of the Trio theme shows we're into recycling, but you ain't heard nothin' yet! Here's a roll call of themes shoehorned into the Passacaglia: Mvt. IV Theme I, Mvt. III Tango, Mvt. II Trio, Mvt. I Theme I and Mvt. III Hymn. The 5-way counterpoint slides past each other real smooth, as the key gradually shifts. The first 2 themes are in F-Sharp Minor, the last 2 in A Major, and the middle theme bridges both keys. One problem though was your blasted irregular phrases: 5-bar, 6-bar, 7-bar and 8-bar. Make up your mind! Finally I averaged them into 6-bar segments." LB: "Such statistical manipulation is laudable. Alas 2 themes (Mvt. I Theme II and Mvt. II Scherzo) were omitted from the Passacaglia, as they would require a septet or octet. Although not 100% satisfied with my String Quintet No. 1, after 3 months of intense work it is my honest best." RB: "You betcha. I spent 50 hours on the Fughetta and Passacaglia alone, only 3 minutes of music! All 4 movements fit together wonderfully despite their flaws, and I love them all equally. And yet I'd tear them up in a minute, because the agony and the ecstasy are in the creation." LB: "Finally, a few technical matters. The Finale extensively uses tremolo, which appears in no other movement, whereas pizzicato is absent until the final 4 bars. The stereophonic placement of instruments in the software (left to right: 1st Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Cello, 2nd Violin) helps the polyphony emerge with greater clarity. Stereo interplay first appears in Theme I, and intensifies in the quadruple and quintuple contrapuntal developments of the Fughetta and Passacaglia sections. The Finale concludes with simultaneous statements of the Trio theme from the Scherzo and the opening theme of the first movement. It was completed in March 2003 to welcome spring."

David Stybr: String Quintet No. 1 in A Major, "Spring" (complete) (29:10)
I. Allegro moderato (7:30) - A Major
II. Scherzo: Allegro (5:10) - F Major
III. Hymn and Tango (8:15) - D-Flat Major
IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco (8:00) - A Major / F-Sharp Minor

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