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for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Contrabass

By Fred Lerdahl

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String Quintet (Score & Parts)
For Violin, Viola, Cello, and Contrabass. Composed by Fred Lerdahl. Schott. Waltz, Classical. Schott Music #ED30157. Published by Schott Music (HL.49045032).

Item Number: HL.49045032

ISBN 1495061752. 9x12 inches.

Waltzes, a cycle of twelve virtuoso waltzes for violin, viola, cello, and double bass, was commissioned by the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, where the first nine waltzes were premiered in 1981. Soon thereafter I composed the final three waltzes. The violinist Rolf Schulte led the first performance of the complete work in New York City in 1983. Waltzes lasts about 22 minutes and is dedicated to the violist Scott Nickrenz, who directed the chamber music series at Spoleto. In arranging the commission, Mr. Nickrenz made three stipulations: make my modernist idiom accessible for summer-festival listening, provide a challenge for brilliant string players accustomed to 19th-century repertory, and give the piece a loud ending. The idea of composing a set of waltzes came from the pleasure I took in playing waltzes by Schubert and Chopin at the piano. Waltzes incorporates occasional references to the music of past composers, but always in ways that fit within my own musical language. Its instrumentation for “low” string quartet is reminiscent of Schubert's Vienna. --Lerdahl.

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