r o c o co (2018)

for string quartet (3 violins & cello)

for Laura, Erin, Lucy & Chris

Duration

c. 4'15

Premiered

Jun 2018, Girton College, Cambridgeshire, England

Laura Alexander (baroque violin), Erin Barnard (violin), Lucy Morrell (violin), Chris Hedges (cello)

Score & parts available upon request; preview on issuu

Programme note

This piece is crafted around a florid sequential passage by François Couperin (from the ‘Passacaille ou Chaconne’ of his Pièces de viole, Suite No. 1) which I find particularly memorable. I gradually recollect the passage by remembering its ornate features, eventually allowing it to coalesce into spirited passagework. Interestingly, the ebb and flow of the process of recollection (typographically embodied by the piece’s title) relates to the aesthetics of asymmetry and elaboration of the eighteenth-century rococo style. In this sense, this piece forms an impression of both the rococo passage, as well as the workings of one’s musical memory.