Growth Fugue

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Growth Fugue

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string quartet
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Duration (min)
3
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Composer's Note:

Growth Fugue is a commission from my colleague, the violist Rita Porfiris, as part of the "Hartt 100" centennial of the institution at which I have spent my entire professional life (which shocks me as I read it).

The title is a terrible pun, as it is based the Beethoven Grosse Fugue, Op.133, which Rita requested be the source for any works written as part of the project. It is a set of "micro-variations" on the opening subject of the source. There are eight, one of each note of the theme, and each is transposed relatively to that pitch in the overall formal structure. Some are closer to the Beethovenian model, others take on a more modernist/minimalist slant. There are embedded algorithms throughout, but then what is a fugue if not an algorithm of sorts? They grow in length and complexity until about 2/3 of the way through, and then begin to contract. The whole thing should flash by like a fever dream. (And in fact, it was written as a sort of diversion from the anxiety of the spring 2020 coronavirus pandemic.)

Of course, it's incredible chutzpah to write anything based on such a masterpiece, and I wouldn't have done it without Rita's prompting. But the theme is so rigorous yet pliant, it opens up all sorts of possibilities to explore. The challenge is too much fun to refuse. And how apporpriate it came up at the Beethoven 250 celebration.

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Text Language - Non English

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string quartet (alone or + inst or voc)
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