Rest-ringing

John Casken (1949)

Rest-ringing 2004-2005

3233-4231-timp.2perc-hp.cel-str(14.12.10.8.6 maximum)
Duration 
15
Solist 
Genre 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

Rest-ringing is written for the unusual combination of string quartet and symphony orchestra, unusual in the sense that the quartet comes from the tradition of chamber music that is both intimate and unconducted, while the orchestra is altogether more public, more powerful in its sound, and requires a conductor. How to reconcile these two seeming opposites presents quite a few problems and perhaps for this reason there are not many of such works in the repertoire.

Martinů wrote a Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra and Schoenberg arranged Handel's Concerto Grosso op.6 no.7 for the same combination. In more recent times, there have been works by Morton Feldman, Wolfgang Rihm and Helmut Lachenmann and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen.

The title Rest-ringing makes a play on words. Without the hyphen, "restringing" reads quite differently, and becomes an appropriate way of summing up the final season of a major international string quartet on the eve of its retirement, with its resonance ringing on in the years to come. Although Rest-ringing was written for The Lindsays in their final year together, I also saw the work as creating the possibility in the future for string section leaders of orchestras to perform the four individual roles. Thus, it could also be seen as a way of augmenting the orchestra from within, as well as inviting an existing quartet to play with the orchestra.

The work is dedicated to The Lindsays: Peter Cropper, Ronald Birks, Robin Ireland and Bernard Gregor-Smith.

Adapted from John Casken's composer note.

Performances 
19.5.05 Bridgewater Hall, Manchester: Lindsay String Quartet / Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
20.5.05 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall: Lindsay String Quartet / Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
3
Flute
3rd doubling piccolo
2
Oboe
3
Clarinet
3rd bass clarinet
3
Bassoon
3rd contrabassoon
4
Horn
2
Trumpet
3
Trombone
3rd bass trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
2
Percussion
crotales, vibraphone, tubular bells, bell plate, triangle, sizzle cymbal, Chinese cymbal, large Swiss cow bell, 2 tam-tam, side drum, log drum, bass drum, maracas, claves, cabaca, woodblock, whip
14
Violin
12
Violin II
10
Viola
8
Cello
6
Double bass
1
Harp
1
Piano
celesta
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