Inquiet Spirits (String Quartet No. 2)
composer: Nancy Galbraith (2000)
length: 1 movement, 9:00 minutes
publisher: Subito Music Publishing (ASCAP)
60 Depot Street, Verona, NJ 07044 • 973-857-3440

world premiere: 29 April 2000
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Mellon Institute • Carnegie Mellon University • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
program notes: Inquiet Spirits, Galbraith’s second string quartet, was conceived for Mexico’s Cuarteto Latinoamericano, who gave its premiere in April 2000. This intense and spirited one-movement work, with its tender middle section, provides an excellent vehicle for the Cuarteto’s virtuosity and passionate temperament. An amazingly compact feast of leaps and squeals and “Bartok pizz’s,” fugal dances and prancing pizzicatos, shrewd and sinister passages, the work also features a treasure of heart-wrenching solos expressed in turns by each instrument.
composer's note: Following a long introduction, a spirited theme is stated by the violin I, accompanied by a repeated figure in the violin II and a repeated pizzicato in the cello. This theme is answered imitatively in all of the instruments, much like a fugue exposition, giving meaning to the subtitle. This section is followed by material from the introduction that builds to a fortissimo tremolo and gradually transitions into a lush B section that makes use of polychords. This section is interrupted by a pizzicato ostinato in the cello and motivic fragments in the upper strings. A return to the B section follows, which concludes with high quiet trills. A repeated note in the viola announces the transition back to the opening material. "Inquiet Spirits" is dedicated to the members of Cuarteto Latinoamericano for their commitment to the promotion and performance of new music. — N.G.
press bytes: Inquiet Spirits... is indeed spirited and restless, deploying lots of Bartokian snap, crackle, and pop to create a 9-minute carnival of cheerfully manic energy.
American Record Guide
  This is high energy music with forceful contrasts... —Pittsburgh Tribune Review
recordings: Nancy Galbraith: Cuarteto Latinoamericano
CD Baby • 2008 • UPC: 820360133220
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
  Nancy Galbraith | Atacama
Albany Records • 2003 • TROY556
Cuarteto Latinoamericano