String quartett – West - Gold - Autumn (1992)

Basic Information
Japanese 弦楽四重奏曲ー「西・金・秋」
German Westen - Gold - Herbst, Streichquartett
Opus 096
Year 1992
Category Chamber
Duration 11 min.
Instruments str-qu
Score information
G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen - und Musikverlag GmbH
part of Universal Music Publishing
Address Stralauer Allee 1
10245 Berlin
Phone +49 (0)30-52007-08
Fax +49 (0)30-52007-1333
Mail General enquiries:
Rental enquiries:
Sheet music sales worldwide via:
  Music Shop Europe:
Sheet music sales in Germany via:
  De Haske Deutschland GmbH
Phone: 0800-334-27-53 (free call in Germany)


Description by the Composer

«The sound medium of the string quartet is quntessentially a product of Western music. To seek new horizons for this medium is an almost impossible task.

«Physical direction and musical order have traditionally been closely related in Japanese music. The principles underlying this relationship are expounded in Kangen Ongi (Principles of Instrumental Music), a musical treatise dating from the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). The subtitle of the present work, –West ・ Gold ・ Autumn–, and the Japanese mode Hyōjō, which I use as the scale for the work, are metonyms for the direction "west". The pitches E, E flat (Es), G, D, A, B (H), and B flat (B) are taken from the German and English readings of the subtitle; together with leaps spanning the interval of a ninth, they constitute an important motif within the work. This work combines motivic writing in Western style with aggregates of harmonics, open-ended melodies, and accumulations of sound which dilute the sense of temporal direction characteristic of Western music. I have striven after a new sense of musical order and harmony in the sound world presented by the combination of Western techniques and East Asian concepts.»

Premiere: Mai 1992, Casals Hall (Tokyo). Performers: Arditti String Quartet.

Maki Ishii