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1810449
1810449
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1810449

String Quartet No. 2

after Zurbaran

By James Primosch

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Chamber Violin 2, Violoncello, Viola, Violin 1
After Zurbaran. Composed by James Primosch (1956-). Set of Score and Parts. With Standard notation. 20+8+8+8+8 pages. Duration 18 minutes. Merion Music #144-40218. Published by Merion Music (PR.144402180).

Item Number: PR.144402180

9.5 x 13 inches.

The concerts and exhibits of the Cleveland Museum of Art were an important formative influence for me during my student days. So when the invitation came to create a new work celebrating this institution on its seventy-fifth anniversary, I was not only happy to accept, but knew immediately that I wanted to write a piece that would somehow relate specifically to the museum. I decided to make the work a reflection on a painting in the museum's collection: Zurbaran's The Holy House of Nazareth. My quartet is not program music in a narrative sense, but rather a kind of meditation that takes its tone from this painting's remarkable integration of intense affect, mysterious repose and secret geometry. Besides Zurbaran's painting, the piece is occupied with a purely musical object of contemplation: the hymn tune Picardy, best known with the text Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. This tune permeates the harmonic and melodic life of the quartet, sometimes appearing in a very simple, straightforward fashion, but often hidden amidst more complex structures. I was attracted to the melody for its musical qualities, but later realized that the hymn's text also resonates with the mood of the painting; the words speak of a reverent awe, of cherubim with sleepless eye, and of the mystery of the Incarnate Word who must suffer: King of kings, yet born of Mary...

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