Work

First Sorrow (String Quartet No. 4) (2006-07)

Gerald Barry

string quartet

Program Notes

First Sorrow refers to the story of that name by Kafka, about a trapeze artist who is happy only when aloft. The quartet includes a hymn to the following text:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the sky so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark.
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep
And often through my curtain peep,
For you never shut your eye
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.