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instrumentation: String Quartet


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String Quartet No. 2

The first movement of "String Quartet No. 2" begins with a child-like playful and rhythmic melody in the first violin and a pizzicato accompaniment. A specific gesture within this melody is highlighted and then slightly altered which then sets up the following derivative melody, like a conversation. This pattern continues throughout the movement. The harmony is constructed using the intervals of the melody. The soft climax of this movement is slowed down and based on the opening few measures.

The second movement incorporates two constantly opposing textures. First, a yearning first violin conflicts with a forceful two-note rhythmic motive. Second, the ensemble is split between an echoing gesture of repeated half-steps in the violins against soft long note values in the lower strings. Next, the melody is juxtaposed with simultaneous dynamics and tempos using forceful quintuplet pizzicatos. After these many textures, the first violin melody is accompanied by the two-note rhythmic figure, which chromatically builds up to a climax. The aftermath of this climax consists of textures introduced earlier on in the movement.

The final movement is like a concerto for string quartet, where each instrument has its feature amongst the rest of the ensemble as accompaniment. A rigid introduction of the melody is presented by the entire ensemble. Then the lower strings play the melody with a rapid gesture in the violins. Next, the second violin introduces a playful variation of the melody with polytonal accompaniment. Each instrument receives its own variation of the melody, such as the Viola that introduces the inverted melody. The various characters introduced before, return featuring a different instrument.

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