Chamber Music Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Piano
Composed by James Primosch. Set of Score and Parts. With Standard notation. Composed 1996. 40+9+9+9+9 pages. Duration 25 minutes. Merion Music #144-40303. Published by Merion Music (PR.144403030).
In a letter written after hearing the Brahms Piano quintet for the first time Thomas Mann remarked that the work was ...more like a symphony than chamber music --something to remember... Indeed, the combination of string quartet and piano has often inspired composers to write works of symphonic proportions, among them some of the jewels of the chamber music repertoire. While I have not written a work of the grandest symphonic proportions, I have adopted a traditional four-movement formal scheme for my quintet, with an impassioned sonata-like first movement, a lighter scherzo to follow, a set of variations for the slow movement, and a finale that at times plays at being serious but is mostly serious about being playful. These last two movements, a meditation on an African-American spiritual and an evocation of a hard bop tune, represent my first attempts to explicitly incorporate idioms from jazz into my concert music, although I suppose there have been less obvious reflections of my love for African-American musical traditions in my music all along. The Piano Quintet is dedicated to the remarkable musicians of the Cavani String Quartet.