string quartet

Commission: Quatuor Bozzini

Premiere: October 20, 2000, Premiere of first version: Bozzini QuartetConcert, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal (Québec)

The refined, typically classical sound of a string quartet is not at all conducive to my own musical style. In Gothic Revival, I have taken several steps to avoid the delicate harmonic blending which is so idiomatic to this perfectly balanced ensemble. Pairs of instruments are often combined to play interlocking melodic patterns. The instruments are separated on stage in order to clarify these patterns (not to produce stereophonic effects for their own sake). In addition to providing me with a way of approaching the string quartet, the positioning of the players on stage was meant to provide a different approach to ensemble musicianship for the Bozzini Quartet, to whom the work is dedicated.

When I began to search for a title which acknowledged the use of certain techniques found in medieval music (hocketing, isorhythm), the term gothic revival came to mind. While this combination of words identifies an architectural style, I was also interested by the numerous meanings which each individual word has assumed in different disciplines.