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Lera Auerbach

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Fragile Solitudes (2008)
Hans Sikorski
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
30 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
2vn, va, vc

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  • Soloist(s)
    ProMusica Chamber Orchestra
Lera Auerbach’s Fragile Solitudes (Shadowbox) deftly places the Borromeo String Quartet in the soloist’s chair in a conceit that can trace its lineage as far back as Handel and Corelli.It's as much an exercise in technique and style, as in expressiveness, but on all three counts it succeeds. Structured in 11 through-played sections, it’s a work of overlapping chiaroscuro contrasts in which the blended, lyrical, quietly romantic (if also occasionally drunken-sounding) voice of the string quartet is variously complemented by and collides with orchestral writing distinguished by moments of vinegary astringency, agitated insistency, disconcertingly tremulous accompaniment, and delicious theatrical asides. Whatever Auerbach’s unrevealed programmatic intentions may have been – a query the implied and intriguing narrative of the now hypnotically dreamy, now driven and dynamic music can’t help but invite – the piece succeeds by sheer force of musical imagination. Particularly impressive is her obvious but adroitly employed gift for grammatical nuance, the 23-minute-long work making often subtle, sometimes dramatic use of contrasted dynamics, tempi, pitch, and sonorities to punctuate and point to altogether beguiling effect.
Michael Quinn, The Classical Review,10/7/2011
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