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Giacinto Scelsi

String Quartet #4 (1964)

Finally, the String Quartet No. 4 in one ten-minute movement is Scelsi's crowning architectural achievement. It is based formally on the golden section and symmetric principles throughout, beginning on C and rising in a powerful infra-chromatic wave to A. This work also marks the first employment of string-by-string tablature notation which Scelsi was to continue to use, and as such represents an orchestral view of quartet writing: 16 strings as individual instruments. Scelsi's fourth quartet is among his most widely regarded works and presents an astonishing compactness of form with innovative instrumental writing, leading to a conclusion of great power.

Edited from materials originally posted to the Internet in 1992 by Todd McComb
Copyright © 1992-2000, Todd Michel McComb.