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String Quartet No. 12 ... The Seasons (2010) full score

Digital Sheet Music

By Thomas Oboe Lee

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Violin, Viola, Cello, String Quartet - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Thomas Oboe Lee. 21st Century, 20th Century, Romantic Period, Classical Period, Baroque Period. Score. With Summer: Cloudburst! Double rainbow … Trio 3). 48 pages. Published by Thomas Oboe Lee (S0.13511).

Item Number: S0.13511

Program note:
As indicated by the title, this is my twelfth string quartet. My very first work, Aperture (1974), was a string quartet. In between I wrote four (nos. 2 – 5) for the Kronos Quartet, one (no. 6) for the Manhattan String Quartet, one (no. 7) for the Lydian String Quartet, one (no. 8) for the Artaria String Quartet, two (nos. 9 - 10) for the Hawthorne String Quartet, and one (no. 11) for the Formosa Quartet.

The number twelve immediately brought to mind the months of the year. But I thought a twelve-movement string quartet might be a bit excessive, and difficult to achieve in a coherent narrative arc. Most classical string quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven are in four movements. So why not the seasons, a movement for each: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

I am a huge fan of “The Creation” by Franz Joseph Haydn. Confession: I am a huge fan of anything by maestro Haydn. For inspiration and guidance, I went to Haydn’s other oratorio “The Seasons.” Armed with a Dover publication of the full score and a recording of the complete work by Sir Thomas Beecham on EMI Classics, I got down to work over the summer of 2010.

String Quartet No. 12 … The Seasons, after Franz Joseph Haydn is in four movements, played without pause between movements.

1) Intro: Heavy snow … Spring: Crocuses blooming!!!
2) Summer: Cloudburst!Double rainbow … Trio
3) Autumn: La Caccia …Danza Rusticana … Trio
4) Intro: Heavy snow again …Winter: O Magnum Mysterium …Hail storm!

The work begins with four descending chords, depicting the falling of snow. But it’s Spring and crocuses are seen peeping through the snow …

Summer begins with cloudbursts, thunder, lightning and torrential rain. A double rainbow appears after the storm. The sun emerges from the clouds in the Trio section. It is a lovely day after all; but then the clouds return …

La Caccia: men go hunting in the Autumn. Well, the men in Haydn’s days at least. Peasant ladies dance as they harvest in the fields. A hawk appears, soaring overhead in the Trio as the sun sets in an orange-red sky ...

In Winter snow falls again; but it’s the season to celebrate the Nativity. Violin and viola chant “O magnum mysterium” …O Magnum Mysterium O great mysteryEt admirabile sacramentum and wonderful sacramentUt animalia viderent Dominum natum that animals should see the new-born LordJacentem in praesepio! lying in a manger!Beata Virgo, cujus viscera Blessed is the Virgin whose wombMeruerunt portare was worthy to bearDominum Christum. Christ the Lord.Alleluia. Alleluia.A hailstorm wreaks havoc.


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