Quintet for Strings (Perle)
The Quintet for Strings (1957-1958) is a compositions for two violins, two viola, and one cello (rather than the standard string quartet with one viola) by George Perle, "in memory of Laura Slobe". The piece is listed by Swift as a tone-centered composition, rather than as a twelve-tone modal piece or 'freely' composed. The first movement is based primarily upon octatonic and secondarily upon whole tone material, and centered on A♭ (with G and B above). The "sonata-like" first movement also presents material used throughout the work: "a descending scalar melodic line, sustained pedal tones, and melodic thirds." Of the third movement, a theme and four variations, Carl Sigmon writes that, "a declamatory cry dominates the movement- a cry so stark that it must be repeated; there is no answer but itself." Its tone center is G♯, but with A and C♯ above (a whole tone above G and B): "In this fashion, the incipient whole-tone element of the Quintet is embedded in the global tone-center relations." It contains a viola, cello, and violin cadenza in the second, third, and fourth variations, respectively.
It has been recorded on George Perle: A Retrospective (2006) Bridge 9214A/B.
- Swift, Richard. "A Tonal Analog: The Tone-Centered Music of George Perle", p.283 & 258-259. Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 21, No. 1/2, (Autumn, 1982 - Summer, 1983), pp. 257-284.
- Swift (1982-1983), p.267-269 & 276.
- Starobin, David (2006). Liner Notes, George Perle: A Retrospective. Bridge 9214A/B.
- Swift (1982-1983), p.274.
- Swift (1982-1983), p.276.
- Swift (1982-1983), p.275.
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