string quartet

The String Quartet No. 2 was composed in 1968 and premiered two years later by the Parrenin Quartet. The opening slow section features long, slow glissandi and microtonal fluctuations produced by the use of vibratos with varying speeds and pitch ranges. Punctuated by triple forte explosions, a mysterious and timeless atmosphere hovers over this section, reinforced by the great liberty accorded to the performers over the duration of this initial section. A more lively section follows in which rapid, fluid passages delivered sul ponticello and legato yield to more crisp articulations. The introduction of pizzicati, col legno played behind the bridge, and percussive sounds renders this very rapid section extremely intense and greatly in contrast with the previous section. Strident chords in the uppermost ranges of the four instruments precede the slow finale. Short passages recalling the previous slow and rapid sections alternate until the quartet reaches its end with a final sigh from a cello glissando.