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Note by the composer:

"Triple Quartet is for string quartet and two pre-recorded quartets, or three live string quartets with no pre-recording. The piece is in three movements, fast-slow-fast, and is organized harmonically on four dominant chords in minor keys a minor third apart: E minor, G minor, Bb minor, C# minor and then returning to E minor to form a cycle. The first movement goes through this harmonic cycle twice with a section about one minute long on each of the four dominat chords. The result is a kind of variation form. Rhythmically the first movement has the second and third quartet playing interlocking chords while the first quartet plays longer melodies in canon between the first violin and viola against the second violin and cello. The slow movement is more completely contrapuntal with a long slow melody in canon eventually in all 12 voices. It stays in E minor throughout. The third movement resumes the original fast tempo, maintains the harmonic chord cycle but modulates back and forth between keys more rapidly. The final section of the movement is in the initial key of E minor and there the piece finally cadences.” Steve Reich, 1999

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