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Program Notes

Behind the Red Door

"The title of this quartet comes from the house I was living in at the time. This house was a small, older white house with blue trim, and a front door painted a beautiful, bright, burgundy red. While not being strictly programmatic in intent, the quartet deals with and draws from episodes of life from behind this colourful door while I was in the process of writing this quartet.

 

The first movement, Declamatory — Energetic and Forward, draws us into the house and introduces the energy present in the house at that bright and cheerful time. The second movement, 'With Tranquility' is a small elegy to my Grandmother, my last surviving grandparent, who passed away as I was writing this quartet. The third movement, 'Tempo di Paranoia' has to do with two episodes. One was that the house had just been burglarized while being off on holidays and the feelings associated with that, and the other was when two friends who had just split up dropped in on the house at the same time. The movement almost wrote itself, the energy was so vibrant! The last movement, 'Tempo de Mare, Su la Spiaggia" (Tempo of the Sea, on the beach) — Allegro Vivace', describes the colourful, and sometimes volatile relationship I was in at that time, and despite an episode of perhaps too much whisky for me, all ends well."

-- Arthur Bachmann, composer of Behind the Red Door.