String Quartet 2 [Str 4tet]
David Maslanka

String Quartet No. 2

for String Quartet
31 min.   •   
   •   Grade 6

My background thinking for this quartet music was the idea of “Living Earth”. Ever since moving to western Montana in 1990, I have been pushed by the living force of the land. Something in it asks me to write music. In spite of all the environmental issues we face, not only here but globally, there persists an underlying surge of vibrant life and good health.

I have not chosen to give programmatic titles to the movements of the Quartet, but several nature images guided my writing. For the first movement the image was “Among the Ponderosas”. I have no idea why this music goes with that image! The music is engaging, sometimes sweet, sometimes forceful, but its true nature is finally interior, secret, and elusive. The third movement grew around the idea of “Ravens”. Ravens are the subject of a lot of folklore. They are seen both as the embodiment of wisdom and harbingers of death. This music does not sound like ravens. It is an energetic scherzo, with a middle section which is both sweet and whimsical. The final movement evolved from the phrase “Come, Sweet Mother”. My intuition is that this invocation holds and awareness of death, which goes along with the ravens. Yet the movement is a lively dance-like set of variations on a very gentle and modest theme.

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