Objets perdus (1991)

John Rea

string quartet

Commission: Arditti Quartet, with support from the CCA

To the Arditti Quartet

Recognizing a common object consists
above all in knowing how to make use of it.

Bergson

Each object is the mirror of all the others.

Merleau-Ponty

It is in entering the object that
one enters into one’s very own skin.

Matisse

I look at what I am losing
And do not see what remains.

Molière

Music, not being made of objects nor
referring to objects, is intangible and ineffable; it
can only be… inhaled by the spirit: the rest is silence.

Jacques Barzun

Objets perdus (lost objects), dispersed among twelve progressively expanding movements (the first being very short in duration), evolve over time as musical materials disappear along the way; one may certainly consider what one is losing, but one should also listen for what remains.

This work was commissioned by the Arditti String Quartet, to whom it is dedicated, thanks to a grant from the Canada Council. This work received the Governor-General Award (Prix Jules-Léger) in 1992.

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  • Recording: available at SMCQ’s office

Performances