for string quartet
Two possible configurations. Set of parts includes both.
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Adapted from my Agnus Dei for organ in the wake of events following the horror of September 11, 2001, the Adagio became the second movement of my Symphony No. 1: Ballet for Orchestra, and was subsequently transcribed for string quartet. Adagio for string quartet was premièred by the Adkins String Ensemble in Denton, TX on March 7, 2004.
The Adagio gradually exposes a hauntingly beautiful melody from Krzysztof Penderecki's Polish Requiem (Ab, G, F, C, Db, Eb, Db, C). A falling half-step and subsequent whole-step emphasize the interval of the minor third. With occasional references to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, the work's harmonic language reflects my interest in using both atonal and tonal materials within the same piece of music.
All night have the roses heard
The flute, violin, bassoon;
All night has the casement jessamine stirr'd
To the dancers dancing in tune;
Till a silence fell with the waking bird,
And a hush with the setting moon.
---- Alfred Lord Tennyson, Maud, and Other Poems
This is a beautiful work of very intense emotion . . .
Dr. McTee, who teaches at the University of North Texas, has produced a number of impressive compositions, and her Adagio . . . performed Friday night, does nothing to spoil her record. In fact, it would make a decent substitute for Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings as a solemn commemorative piece. The work is a transcription of a movement of Dr. McTee's Symphony No. 1, which was premiered by the National Symphony. . . . although often highly chromatic [the Adagio] does not seem in the least abrasive. It's an impressive work.
The Dallas Morning News
There is much to engage the ear . . .
The Baltimore Sun
a throaty elegy . . .
The Washington Post
lush string writing . . .
The New York Times