String Quartet No. 6 (Elegy for Morton Feldman)



This is the second piece in my Elegies series, pieces written to honor composers who have most heavily influenced my work.

This quartet is marked by extremely slow moving harmonic progressions, much like the work of Feldman. Each of the twelve moments is based on the simple task of a single modulation. Movement I: C to C-sharp; Movement II: C-sharp to D; and so on. There are countless smaller modulations in between but the larger structure of the work is apparent, as the movements are kept short, some no longer than ten measures. The nearly five-minute final movement, subtitled “Elegy,” is a nod to my favorite work by Feldman, Madame Press Died Last Week At Ninety, and is composed entirely of quarter-note rhythmic ostinato maintained by the entire quartet for the entirety of the movement, under which the harmonies change most subtly. The tempo of this final movement ranges from MM=36 to MM=25, making it a funeral march of sorts.

Begun in 2006, the work was finished in 2007.

See: Music for Two HandsString Quartet No. 11But FlexibleElegy for John Cage, and Sound Clouds.