Taking Flight Sadie Harrison

Taking Flight cover
21 mins

Small Ensemble String Quartet

2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Violoncello

Purchasing options

Score ISMN 57020-159-4 £21.00 Buy now
Score and parts ISMN 57020-160-0 £28.00 Buy now

string quartet

Programme note

Taking Flight was written especially for the Kreutzer Quartet and was inspired most directly by the virtuosity, exuberance and sensitivity of the individual players. The score is prefaced by a line of poetry by Wislawa Szymborska "The tapestry of circumstance is intricate and dense". This line conveys something of the soundworld of the quartet, where "tiny threads" of material weave around each other to create multi-layered textures - often tangled and dense, at times delicate and intricate.

The text also reflects the structure of the work. Taking Flight is formed from a series of transformed musical 'reminiscences' - fragments taken from my earlier works and single chords from works by Birtwistle, Debussy, Gerhard and Bartok. The central idea of the quartet, that of opening doors on the past, echoes the psychological journey undertaken in Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle. A further link with the Bartok is created through the tonality of the quartet which polarises around the C - F sharp tritone, a celebration of C major providing the climax and the only moment of sustained rest in the entire work.

Sadie Harrison, 2000

Kreutzer Quartet, Newcastle International Chamber Music Festival, December 1999