String Quartet No. 4 (Glass)

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String Quartet No. 4, also known by its other title Buczak, is a string quartet by the American composer Philip Glass. It was commissioned by Geoffrey Hendricks in remembrance of the artist Brian Buczak. It was premiered on July 4, 1989 at the Hauser Gallery.[1]


It was commissioned by Geoffrey Hendricks in remembrance of the artist Brian Buczak, who succumbed to AIDS in 1987 at the age of 33.[2] It was premiered at a memorial service on the second anniversary of the artist's death on July 4, 1989 at the Hauser Gallery.

Glass wanted his fourth quartet to represent "a musical impression of [Buczak] as a person as well as a tribute to his life's work".[3]


This composition consists of three movements and takes approximately 23 minutes to perform. The movements are listed as follows:

  1. (untitled)
  2. (untitled)
  3. (untitled)

This quartet touches on the quartet heritage of Franz Schubert and also Antonín Dvořák.[4] The first movement begins with unison and then develops to freely interchanged melodic and rhythmic components. It heads towards an animated ending. The second movement features a lyrical and beauty melody. The finale mixes what has been heard in the precedent movements. It builds momentum to end in a resigned and conclusive manner.[5]

Notable recordings[edit]

Notable recordings of this composition include:

Quartett Record Company Year of recording Format
Kronos Quartet Nonesuch 1995 CD
Carducci Quartet Naxos 2010 CD


  1. ^ Philip Glass - Compositions
  2. ^ "Brian Buczak 1954–1987". VISUAL AIDS. New York. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  3. ^ Grimshaw, Jeremy. String Quartet No. 4 (Buzcak) at AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  4. ^ Oldham, Tim. "String Quartet No 4 'Buczak' - The Smith Quartet" (PDF). Hyperion Records. Signum Classics. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  5. ^ Whitehouse, Richard. "About this Recording 8.559636 - GLASS, P.: String Quartets Nos. 1-4 (Carducci String Quartet)". Naxos Digital Services Ltd. Retrieved February 17, 2017.

External links[edit]