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String Quartet No. 2: Score and analysis

Jean Esther Henderson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


String Quartet No. 2 was composed between May 2002 and April 2003, a time in American history that was characterized by increased anxiety among many citizens, especially regarding economic and political events. This was in dramatic contrast to the decade of the 1990s when the world seemed to be at peace and the economy was blossoming. The first and fifth movements of the quartet comment on these programmatic elements of distress. The three middle movements, however, are a commentary on my impressions of three places in which Mozart lived, and which I visited in the summer of 2002. They, along with the introduction to the first movement, contain various quotes from Mozart's works. ^ The quartet makes use of many contrasts of mood, dynamic levels, tempi and color. It also has a wide variety of string techniques, including glissandi, double stops and col legno. This quartet is not tonal in the traditional sense. Rather, it is based on an understanding of tonality, but stretches it, using such things as root movement by tritone, bi-tonality, modality, and harmonic structures that mix tertian and quartal elements. ^

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Recommended Citation

Henderson, Jean Esther, "String Quartet No. 2: Score and analysis" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3092552.