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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

In Memory (string quartet) (2002)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Sub Category
String Quartet
Year Composed
12 Minutes
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Programme Note
Joan Tower In Memory (string quartet) (2002)
Composer Note:

The Tokyo String Quartet commissioned this string quartet composition in 2001. This one-movement piece about death and loss was written in memory of one of my friends, and later, of those who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks.

—Joan Tower

  • Ensemble
    Tokyo String Quartet
...An elegy for a deceased friend and for victims of 9/11, Tower's string quartet follows a clear-cut musical and emotional trajectory. Fast, choppy, restless music (echoing that of the Shostakovich Eighth String Quartet) expresses pain and anger; slower, more lyrical music speaks of consolation. The two musics are integrated with a seamlessness...
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune,01/01/0001
Joan Tower’s chamber music has much the same emotional intensity and gestural ferocity as her orchestral works. Her primarily angular harmonic language, with its predominantly dissonant cast, evokes a sense of agitation bordering on rage...In Memory (in a stunning rendition by the Tokyo String Quartet) begins quietly...then builds to a gripping climax. The music’s emotions are particularly raw and acute, as the composer was inspired by the death of a close friend, and then the 9/11 attacks that occurred shortly after.
Victor Carr, Jr.,,01/01/0001
The Cavani String Quartet applied their special brand of expressive magic to In Memory, in which still and pleading sighs rub disturbing shoulders with Shostakovich-like vehemence. This is a work of intense beauty as well as searing anger.
Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer,01/01/0001
Ms. Tower's new quartet In Memory (her second) is a passionate work, written in memory of a friend who died last summer, and tinted as well by the Sept. 11 attacks, which occurred during the composition. The language here is accessible and unambiguous, with modulations of melancholy, grief and anger that were all conveyed powerfully in the Tokyo players' vigorous reading.
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times,01/01/0001
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