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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

Angels (String Quartet No. 4) (2008)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
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Programme Note
Joan Tower Angels (String Quartet No. 4) (2008)
August 31 2008
Music from Angel Fire
Miami String Quartet
Angel Fire, NM

Composer Note:
Angels is my fourth quartet — a medium I really love. In fact, when Ida Kavafian asked me what I wanted to write for the Festival, I immediately said string quartet. Having written three prior quartets and gotten to travel extensively around the world of quartets, I have come to love the way string quartets are so deeply creative and passionate about the music they play. They are really like four "composers" at work.

Angels is about 18 minutes long in one movement and is dedicated to the people who helped my younger brother George survive a major stroke this year. They include my sister Ellen, a former student of mine (Erin), a doctor (Dr. Stenehjem), a nurse (Courtney) and two real estate agents (Ann and Dale). These are caring people whose generosity of spirit and love of humanity make them very special "angels." I am thrilled that the Miami Quartet is giving the premiere of Angels.

— Joan Tower

Angels (2008), Ms. Tower’s Fourth String Quartet, is built around short repeating figures that create a dense, swarming effect. It was as if Ms. Tower were using the building blocks of Minimalism to create a score of decidedly non-Minimalist complexity.
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times,09/05/2011
It is a mercurial piece, passionate, anguished, often dissonant and perhaps most effective in its forceful, driving passages.
Paul Hyde, Greenville News [SC],07/11/2008
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