LAWRENCE DILLON (b.1959): String Quartets No. 2 "Flight", No. 3 "Air" and No. 4 "The Infinite Sphere", What Happened for Piano Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 12M082
Description: The fourth quartet explores the ideas inherent in the title, a mathematical concept, through a witty exploration of the various 'circular' structures of music - rondo, fugue, various types of canons and the like, plus a little bit of rock 'n roll. This allows the composer considerable latitude for cleverly constructed musical mechanisms, and no small amount of humor. The Third plays on its title as well, with ethereal textures suggesting the breezes and zephyrs of the air, and lovely vocal lines in the spirit of the vocal aria. Flight, the subtitle of the second quartet, evokes another pun; imagery of things that fly depicted in various fugal structures. In the first movement, repeating motifs vividly suggest wings flapping; the buzzing of the scherzo is unmistakably that of insects, the drifting trio, the lazy flight of paper airplanes. Flights of fancy, the still night sky and a double fugue illustrating the myth of Daedelus and Icarus complete the set. What Happened begins with tightly structured, romantic sonata form piano quartet movement, quite conventional and very attractive; the other two movements begin in a similar vein but suffer abrupt interruptions, with the implication that something 'happened', but in the context of this style of music, it isn't quite clear what. Daedalus Quartet, Benjamin Hochman (piano).