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. 


莊板 副題“Suffering”





I. Presto - Lento - Presto

II. Grave

III. Presto - Grave - Presto