String Quartet #2
Theme From The Shadow

Frank Singer | April, 1982

My favorite classical ensemble is the string quartet. I have written 3, the third being the commission Generations, created for the 1995 Erie, Pennsylvania Bicentennial Celebration. The live performance is available on CD Baby in Disc and Digital form.

Theme From The Shadow was created from the opening music of the radio show, the Shadow, which was once a weekly broadcast in the early days of radio. [More] The theme was originally extracted from the middle movement of Camille Saint-SaŽns' Le Rouet d'Omphale (Omphale's Spinning Wheel), composed in 1872. [More] I found a nice YouTube video of the music with the hand-written score as a video back-drop here.

For my second String Quartet effort, I chose this theme for its minor key modality, the classic balance of steps and skips, and very interesting chromatic movement at the crest of the melodic line. I found it lent itself to all manner of treatments, maintaining its identity and inviting development. The quartet is continuous with short fermatas between sections.

The mp3 recording is made from a Notion file and is a sequence of the score using artificial instruments and mechanized playback. There are missing time changes, such as fermatas and rubatos, that will make the transitions seem more abrupt than would occur with human playing. The overwhelming costs and time involved in a live performance are not currently feasable. The recording is presented to give a general feel of the composition's intent, and to allow an audio following of the score.

© Frank Singer