Claude Halter and Nicola Drake, violin; Matthew Davies, viola; and Hannah Addario-Berry, cello on February 24, 2007
Composer, Clarinetist, Bass Clarinetist
Inspired by the last line of a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca (“In the fir trees on the mountain: fireflies”), this piece is a gradually unfolding meditation for string quartet. An initially short chord progression gradually expands, rises in register, and glides through different harmonic areas, like the shifting colors of the evening sky. It builds and becomes increasingly impassioned as it goes, culminating in a powerful arrival on a registrally expansive open fifth harmony. Then silence, and a short, wistful return of the opening. Structurally, it is similar to Samuel Barber’s famous Adagio for Strings, but refracted through a cooler, minimalist lens.