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Alexander Shchetynsky

for clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano

Silence is like tabula rasa for a future work. It will make the ear more receptive, more attentive to the smallest details and changes of sound, its pitch, timbre, and rhythm...

Musicians play carefully as if they carry a precious vase, brim-full with rare beverage; they are afraid of spilling it...

This piece is my commentary on a subject "sound and silence". There are many rests here and no loud playing (the dynamics ranges from pianissimo to mezzo-piano and just ones mezzo-forte). The tempo is very slow. The piece begins with extensive solo of the clarinet. Little by little the other instruments enter with their repercussions that seem to be only echoes of the clarinet line. Subsequently, the piano and string trio start raising their own "ideas" and finally take up the initiative of moving further. The clarinet keeps silence in final episodes.

The clarinet line, being fragmented at the beginning, transforms into free melodic “singing” of string trio in the second half of the piece. Soon after melodic movement disintegrates in piano solo, however, and finally goes into silence.

A mysterious rustle of bows without producing any pitch...

The piano goes back to the initial motive in the highest register... The pianist muffles its echo, touching the strings with hands...

Alexander Shchetynsky

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© 2000 by Alexander Shchetynsky