Double Quartet op 40
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4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos


The work which duration is 17 mn has been written during March 2012 and is dedicated to the Manfred Quartet and T'Ang Quartet.
It is composed of 5 movements and emphasizes the dialogue between the two quartets. The 1st movement introduces as a first theme the melodic and harmonic modes which will be the ferment of the complete double quartet. Each mode is given to one quartet which answer to the other, developing them. A second theme offers to the double quartet the possibility to play all together.
It is accompagnied with pizzicatos and with an ostinato of double semiquavers at the cello. The recapitulation offers a new distribution of the themes to the two quartets. The movement concludes in a great energy.
A nocturnal climate which is accompagnied with soft tremolos and harmonics characterizes the melodic theme of the second movement.It is given to the two cellos, one played arco, the other pizzicatos. A second more harmonic element will be developped at the middle of the movement before the recapitulation of the first theme.
The third movement is mostly harmonic. In a lively tempo it develops the chords of the harmonic mode. It shows a great instrumental unity. A second theme will be given by the first quartet sustained by the pizzicatos of the second quartet.The recapitulation will offer a new thematic distribution.
The fourth movement is not written with the modes previously developed. It is an elegy given successivly to the two quartets. A harmonic quotation will be given in the middle of the movement before the recapitulation of the main theme.
The final offers a new listening of the harmonic and melodic modes. They will be developed in a lively atmosphere, favouring the dialogue between the two quartets. A second harmonic theme will introduce large chords distributed to the two quartets. A variation of this second theme will allow the possibility to hear all the instrumentalists playing pizzicatos.
The work concludes in an energic and luminous climate.


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(c) Florentine Mulsant, 2012