Quintet for Strings (Perle)
Structure and Analysis
The work is structured in four movements:
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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