M. P. Belaieff


Mansurian: String Quartet No. 2

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  • Composer: Tigran Mansurian
  • Format: Score & Set of Parts
  • Instrumentation: String Quartet (Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello)
  • Work: String Quartet No. 2
  • ISMN: 9790203005490
  • Size: 9.1 x 11.9 inches
  • Pages: 84


After I had dedicated my first quartet (1983, No. 84) to the memory of a friend and musician who died young, I had to mourn the death of yet another friend: Eduard Khagagortyan. To him, I dedicated my second quartet. in Armenia, the song "It is spring… It is snowing…", written by the great composer of Armenian music Komitas (1869-1935), is very popular. It is characterized by an elegiac melody. When composing the quartet, I was influenced by some tones of the piano accompaniment. Furthermore, I was inspired by modulations from the treasury of songs of Armenian medieval sacred music. They are based on hymn-like poems and contain philosophical thoughts. with regard to the end of the quartet, I would like to paint a little picture: A churchyard. The day draws to a close. It gets dark. A group of clergymen dressed in black slowly crosses the churchyard and disappears into the dark at the back. in my imagination, this quiet and slow procession represents the transition from partial darkness to total blackness; it is also a mystic picture of death – very impressive. These pictures and colors determine the end of the second quartet. The pizzicato of the four strings represents a chorale that unfolds, yet has not enough strength to become a real chant. Its color is black too. (Tigran Mansurian) Without any frills and effects, without melancholy and monotony, in a mainly moderate tempo, literally simple and moving, impressive without trying to impress – this is how Mansurian's music unfolds: like a small plant that tries hard to grow and sprouts leaves even though there is hardly any light and the soil provides only few nutrients, or as if the musicians are engrossed in a conversation while it remains unclear which direction it takes.