Commission: Quatuor Molinari
Commissioned by the Molinari String Quartet, through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the String Quartet was initially conceived as a work to be performed alongside Nachoff’s Violin Concerto (2018). Each of the four movements is a miniature concerto for each member of the quartet. The first movement features Violin II, the probing second movement showcases the Viola, the vacillating third movement is for the Cello and the intense final movement is for Violin I. It represents some of Nachoff’s most intricate writing to date, allowing him to explore his deep attachment to the tradition and his engagement with contemporary iterations. With a strong sense of rhythmic vitality, subtle and tangential jazz influences permeate the work. The pizzicato solo cello in the third movement is reminiscent of an improvised bass solo. Interlocking rhythmic figures in the fourth movement at times bring to mind the counterpoint of a drumset. Quarter tones are woven into the melodic vocabulary of the work as a means of expression and dimensional shifting and at numerous times overtones and glissandi are used to generate textures that lean towards electronica. The theme of the individual and their relationship and responsibilities to the group are explored in different ways in each movement.
Quinsin Nachoff [x-21]
Friday, February 19 – Sunday, August 15, 2021