String Quartet No. 8 (2014)


The first movement begins with a brief, impetuous, capricious violin solo that defines the principle character of the movement.  Soon afterwards, a simple, recurring, drumbeat motif in the lower strings appears introducing an element of orderliness and regularity. This creates an opposing duality of character, capriciousness and orderliness, that dialogues and clashes throughout the movement until the end where it remains unresolved.


The Second movement opens with a vague atmosphere composed of ethereal, fluttering sounds. This vague opening gradually shifts and yields to a very contrasting character of clarity and calmness established by the presence of harmonic simplicity at the end of the movement.


The third movement begins with an extremely energetic theme that occasionally looses its energetic drive with bouts of stuttering but always manages to eventually regain its momentum. A somewhat moody lyrical theme follows providing a temporary restful contrast before the first theme returns with its dynamic vigor to conclude the movement.


String Quartet No. 8 is dedicated to the memory of Hilda Ayer, a good friend who was well known for her compassion and generosity.





Four Piano Pieces (2012-2014)


Piano Piece No. 2

Abrupt and extreme changes of mood—from casual meandering to dramatic furor and dreamy simplicity—give this piece a pseudo fairytale-like quality.


Piano Piece No. 6

This piece is predominantly a spritely scherzo movement with frequent passages of repeated staccato notes.  It is enveloped by a brief beginning section containing fast, whirring notes that returns at the end bringing the piece to a quiet conclusion.


Piano Piece No. 5

After a brief slow introduction, the first theme emerges with a sparkling, energetic drive that possesses occasional, brief moments of emotional drama. It is followed by two themes of contrasting character before it returns to bring the movement to an energetic close.


Piano Piece No. 8

A recurring slow, quiet, mysterious theme in the lowest register of the keyboard alternates with contrasting, rhythmic material throughout this piece. At the end, the dark character of the theme is washed away by some wispy, ascending, melodic lines that dissipate off into the distance.






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