Georg Friedrich Haas: String Quartet No. 5

  • for string quartet
  • Duration: 22’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st violin
    2nd violin
  • Composer: Georg Friedrich Haas
  • Commission: Auftragswerk von Klangspuren Schwaz, Wien Modern und Ultraschall – Das Festival für neue Musik (Deutschlandradio Kultur)

Work introduction

The starting point for the composition of my String Quartet No. 5 was the attempt to combine individual events with one another so densely that they blended into a unified totality, in which the individual contribution of each single instrument was dissolved. But very soon during the process of composition I began to develop a desire to take this homogenous sound apart again, by separating the instruments spatially. (I had already tried out this separation in my String Quartet No. 3, although in this case for reasons of musical communication – as the entire piece is played in total darkness.)

Similar material can be heard from different spatial positions.

The listeners find themselves inside the sound: inside overtone chords, which in some cases are created merely by the position of the bow on open strings; inside intentionally composed beat phenomena, of vibrating resonances and virtuoso passage work.

Georg Friedrich Haas


World première

Kirche St. Martin, Schwaz (AT)
Arditti String Quartet

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