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Posts tagged 'Daedalus Quartet'

The Daedalus Quartet Premieres Fred Lerdahl's "Chaconne"

Fred Lerdahl's writing for string quartet has, since 1978, played with musical form and syntax to achieve strikingly dramatic and engaging works. Lerdahl's three string quartets can be heard on a pristine recording performed by the Daedalus Quartet, for whom Lerdahl's Third Quartet was commissioned in 2008, completing the trilogy.

Now Lerdahl, with support from New Music USA, has written another work for Daedalus—entitled Chaconne—which diverges from Lerdahl's asymmetrical "spiral form" and instead explores the symmetrical periodicities inherent in the form of the chaconne. Eight bars of paired symmetrical phrases spell out the name of the Daedalus Quartet in the names of pitch-classes, using the German spelling of Eb (D-A-E-D-A-Es); Lerdahl uses this motive throughout the work to make a piece that is, in his words, "outward and transparent, one that projects delight in playful patterns."

Listen to Lerdahl's first three quartets performed by Daedalus below. 

Lerdahl at Lincoln Center

Fred Lerdahl's three string quartets, written over a span of nearly thirty years, showcase the composer's remarkable talent for exploring the subtleties of the structure of music, forming a trilogy of works that function both as a unified whole and as individual units. The third quartet, commissioned by the Deadalus Quartet and premeired in 2008, is described by the composer as "[inhabiting] a world of abrupt mood changes, passionate urgings, quiet reveries, fantastical gestures, and sudden reminiscences." 

The Deadalus Quartet, which has recorded all three of Lerdahl's quartets on Bridge Records, will perform the work on March 24th at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, alongside works by Wolfgang Rihm, Helmut Lachenmann, and John Harbison. The evening will feature a conversation with Lerdahl himself, and will be live-streamed here. Check out the Deadalus Quartet performing the work below. 

Fred Lerdahl's Complete String Quartets Performed in Boston

On October 18th, 2012, the Deadalus Quartet performs the complete String Quartet Cycle of Fred Lerdahl (Nos. 1, 2, & 3) at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, presented by Columbia University's Miller Theatre. This program is a touring composer portrait presented by the Miller Theatre, which presented the Deadalus Quartet performing Lerdahl's String Quartet No. 3 in 2010. Don't miss this concert!

Fred Lerdahl, who since 1991 has been the Fritz Reiner Professor of Music at Columbia University, began composing string quartets in 1978 with String Quartet No. 1, later returning to the form with his second quartet in 1982, and finally composing his latest quartet specifically for the Daedalus Quartet in 2008. Lerdahl writes,

"The Third Quartet is the finale of a large-scale work that begins with the First Quartet and continues with the Second. The First Quartet takes the form of 15 geometrically expanding variations, starting with a simple chord and elaborating gradually into a variation six minutes long. Its sequel, the Second Quartet, continues the expansion with two more variations of nine and 13 minutes. The Third Quartet constitutes in its entirety a last expanded variation. At the same time, it periodically interposes reminiscences from the two earlier quartets, progressing through the Second back to the First. The coda of Third Quartet comes full circle by stating in reverse order the brief opening variations of the First Quartet."

All three Quartets are available on a CD released by Bridge Records, performed by the Daedalus Quartet and released in 2008. Don't miss your chance to see these works performed live!

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