String Quartet No. 4 — The Night

Owen Underhill

String Quartet No. 4 — The Night has been performed in Calgary, Kingston, Montréal and Vancouver…

The fourth string quartet is in some ways an extension of the third, with perhaps a more direct through-line and an even more spare approach to the presentation of melodies, harmonies and ideas. The title is derived from a poem of the same name by the seventeenth century mystical poet Henry Vaughan. The last stanza begins:

There is in God (some say) A deep, but dazzling darkness

The striking contrast and integration of darkness and dazzling light in the poem helped guide the overall concept of alternating slow and fast sections. Even though the music is sectional, I thought of the work as unbroken. As each part concludes, a door opens and the next experience is revealed. String Quartet #4 — The Night is dedicated to my son Adrian and daughter Sophia.

Premiere

  • September 29, 2011, Portrait Owen Underhill, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal (Québec)

String Quartet No. 4 — The Night

  • Owen Underhill
  • Year of composition: 2011
  • Duration: 14:19
  • Instrumentation: string quartet
  • Commission: Quatuor Bozzini

On disc

Concerts

29 Sept 2011
8:00 pm
Série QB
Underhill
In person
Montréal (Québec)
26 Febr 2012
8:00 pm
Underhill
In person
Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada)
3 Marc 2012
8:00 pm
Underhill
In person
Calgary (Alberta, Canada)
6 Marc 2015
8:00 pm
ButterfieldCageTenneyUnderhill
In person
Kingston (Ontario, Canada)