Harbor Music
by Dan Welcher
String Quartet - Sheet Music

Item Number: 1825966
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String Quartet

SKU: PR.16400222S

Composed by Dan Welcher. Full score (study). With Standard notation. Duration 11 minutes. Theodore Presser Company #164-00222S. Published by Theodore Presser Company (PR.16400222S).

UPC: 680160037841.

This work follows my Quartet No. 1 by five years. In terms of style and aesthetic aim, however, it seems light years away. Where the first work, a 28-minute, four-movement piece, took aim at cosmic conflicts and heroic resolutions, the present work is intended as a kind of divertissment. Harbor Music lasts a mere eleven minutes, is cast in a single movement with six sections, and should leave both performers and listeners with a feeling of good humor and affection.   The title comes from my experience as a guest in the magnificent city of Sydney, Australia. One of its most attractive features is its unique system of ferry boats: the city is laid out around a large, multi-channeled harbor, with destinations more easily approached by water than by land. Consequently, inhabitants of Sydney get around on small, people-friendly boats that come and go from the central docks at Circular Quay. During a week's visit in 1991, I must have boarded these boats at least a dozen times, always bound for a new location - the resort town of Manley, or the Zoo at Taronga Park, or the shopping district at Darling Harbour.   In casting about for a form for my second string quartet, a kind of loose rondo came to mind. Each new destination would be approached from the same starting-out point (although there are subtle variations in the repeating theme; it's always in a new key, and the texture is never the same). The result, I hope, is a sense of constant new information presented with introductory frames of a more familiar nature.   The embarkation theme, which begins the piece, is a sort of bi-tonal fanfare in which the violins are in G major and the viola and cello are in B-flat major. It is bold, eager, and forward-looking. The first voyage maintains this bi-tonality, beginning as a 9/8 due for second violin and viola in a kind of rocking motion -much as a boat produces when reaching the deeper water in the harbor. A sweet, nostalgic theme emerges over this rocking accompaniment. This music is developed somewhat, then transforms quickly into a much faster and lighter episode, filled with rising and falling scales (again, in differing keys). A scherzando interlude in short notes and changing meters provides contrast, and the episode ends with a reprise of the scales.   The second embarkation follows, this time in A major/C major. It leads quickly into a very warm and slow theme, in wide-leaping intervals for the viola. This section is interrupted twice by solo cadenzas for the cello, suggesting distant boat-horns in major thirds. The end of the episode becomes a transition, with boat-horns leading into the final appearance of the embarkation music, this time in trills and tremolos instead of sharply accented chords. The nostalgic theme of the first episode makes a final appearance, serving now as a coda. The rocking motion continues, in a lullaby fashion, leaving us drowsy and satisfied on our homeward journey.   Harbor Music was written for the Cavani Quartet, and is dedicated to Richard J. Bogomolny. Commissioned by his employees at First National Supermarkets as a gift, it represents a thank you from many of the people (including this composer) who have benefitted from his vision and generosity. An ardent advocate of chamber music (and a cellist himself), Mr. Bogomolny has for many years been Chairman of the Board of Chamber Music America. -- Dan Welcher.