Alex Yiu: String Quartet No. 1

Programme Note 樂曲簡介

String Quartet, No. 1

Presto - Adagio - Presto
Grave, “Suffering”
Presto - Grave - Presto

Mozart’s early string quartets, and many classical period sonati, concerti are in three-movement form which is fast-slow-fast. Traditionally, it’s a inheritance of Vivaldi’s establishment in form and music. In this Quartet No. 1, it inherit from this spirit also. However, the musical elements that were used are mostly from my personal emotion. Whatever I know more or less, the inspiration of composition come and leave fast both. Sometimes when I need to complete a score, the cause behind the score is mostly come from my inner-self that I cannot control it. And this piece is born in this situation.

At the beginning of “Presto - Adagio - Presto”, a very short theme is played by the first violin and given to the viola later, other instruments is making different texture at the same time. The Adagio part is quite short and it contain the theme which like making a conversation between the first and second violin. After the Adagio, music is back into Presto, but for this time, it is a transformation if the first Presto and is ended with C major chord humorously.

The second movement “Grave” which also named “Suffering” was being composing during the time that my father got serious sickness. Unfortunately, my father passed away on 23th June, 2007. I tried to complete it with suffering. This movement might not be heard a clear theme, because most of the time the music is kept like a texture, each part of the quartet are trying to continue the texture. The movement is ended with a F major chord.

The mood of “Presto - Grave - Presto” is differed from the other movements, the presto part sounds like a dance of elf. Some passages used elements form the first movement and the “Grave” appear again here shortly but contain some changes. After the “Grave”, music is pushed into climax but is fallen so quickly. 

弦樂四重奏,第一號

急板﹣慢板﹣急板
莊板 副題“Suffering”
急板﹣莊板﹣急板

莫扎特早期的弦樂四重奏,以及很多古典時期的奏鳴曲都是三樂章的,某程度是維華第所確立的曲式的一種承繼,傳統上的三樂章的曲式都是快﹣慢﹣快的,而這首作品也繼承了這種精神。不過,所用的音樂元素卻是來自激烈的個人情感,無論我知多或少,作曲的靈感總是來得很快,也走得很快,有時要完成一首作品,其原動力往往不受自己所控制,而這首作品便在這種情況下誕生。

第一樂章《急板﹣慢板﹣急板》分三段,第一段的主題分別由第一小提琴和中提琴交換,其他聲部則集中於織體和音色上的變化;第二段引用了第一段的主題作很簡短的對話;第三段則是第一段主題和伴奏的變體,樂章以一個C大調的和弦完結,就像對聽者開了一個玩笑。

第二樂章《莊板》(副題”Suffering”)在寫於父親患重病住院期間,本來寫作的目的是紓解自己的情緒,然而好景不常,父親於二零零七年六月離我而去,我忍著痛把它完成。樂曲聽起上來沒有明顯的主題,因為樂章的整體就是一個織體,各聲部的責任就是在保持織體的延伸,最後樂曲以一個F大調的和弦完結,表示終結。

第三樂章《急板﹣莊板﹣急板》第一段的感覺和之前的樂章非常不一樣,快速的節奏就好像妖精的舞一樣,當中有樂段取材自第一樂章的元素,而當中的”莊板”其實就是第二樂章的變體,突然的出現令音樂推向高潮,之後的結尾卻完得突然,引證了「樂極生悲」一話。

I. Presto - Lento - Presto

II. Grave

III. Presto - Grave - Presto