QUADERNA

NELSON ALMEIDA
The title for this composition was borrowed from the novel Romance da Pedra do Reino, by Ariano Suassuna (1971), written in a style known as armorial. Pedro Quaderna is the novel’s protagonist. The quartet was initially named Quadro Quaderna. After changes and updates, it was renamed as Quaderna . The work consists of a single movement with two sections, A and B. Section A is divided into 3 subsections – a, b and c – while B divides into d, e, f and coda. Quaderna blends the armorial style with more general musical material, based on the idiomatic writing of each instrument.

CARRO DE BOI TRANSFIGURADO

VICTOR LUIZ
This is dessicated music, protest music, which makes no pretense of gentle emotions. It is the creak of wood, a shout coming from someone covered in clay, or mud. It is a heavy knife used to cut sugarcane, a child crying out of hunger, it is earth that has never been rained on. Uneasy melodies that are suffocated, an atmosphere in which the air is heavy, not the slightest breeze. All that was green, transfigured into concrete giants that hide the ocean and whip our eyes with their faces of glass. It is irrational, real, algebraic and constant.

RASCUNHOS PARA CORDAS

SYRLANE ALBUQUERQUE
The work has four “minimovements”, thought of as embryos, since they could be developed into longer movements, if the composer wanted to do so. The movements have no titles, something also considered by the composer – each movement has its own character (with only tempo instructions at the start) and it is up to the musicians and the public to decide how to interpret them. Movement I mixes baião and maracatu rhythms, and is a joyful opening movement; movement II evokes melancholy, the same melody being reharmonized a number of ways. Movement III, the shortest one, is an irregular waltz, with many changes of tempo, and contains a great sense of humour. Movement IV, in frevo rhythm, ends the piece in festive mood.

MODUS III - QUARTETO DE CORDAS

PAULO ARRUDA
This brief composition was taken from a series called Modus. It was inspired by what in Brazil’s northeast is called desafio de cantadores repentistas (duel between repente singers). Luís da Câmara Cascudo describes repente as “the right reply given unexpectedly, so as to unsettle the opponent’s improvisation”. The first theme we hear in the piece (marked Calmo) functions as a motif, and is developed throughout the whole work just as in repente’ s improvisation duels. In this piece, unlike repente, the battle does not involve verse. Instead, the conflict involves two tonal centers, in a tonic/dominant relation, as observed by the composer Dierson Torres. One moment the opponents (sadly) murmur about misfortunes, then they set off towards impetuous combat (marked Con fuoco), in which the loser will turn his viola (10 string guitar) facedown.

MARCO ZERO

MAURO MAIBRADA
Marco Zero (meaning, approximately, “starting point”) does not make reference to any geographical point, rather it seeks to represent beginnings, incubators, which, like life itself, start from a point in common — a fact represented, at the piece’s opening, by the members of the quartet playing absolutely in unison. Gradually, like personalities that are becoming formed, the instruments separate and form into groups until — as in contexts relating to faith, philosophy or politics — a general meaning is presented, represented musically here by the theme introduced by the first violin. Soon, the other members begin to “recite” and follow this path, each with their own version. Progressing, reducing, and always in conflict with the inicial “marco zero”. This conflict is felt, or mitigated, a number of times, leading to apparent cohesion and connection, but the doubts are highlighted by the groups of notes and blocks of sound (chords?) which, although rhythmically unified, reveal their disagreements by means of dissonances. The piece continues as if the instruments were hunting each other down, until the final moment, when the final chord seems to ask: “And now, where to?”

FREVANDO III

NILSON LOPES
This piece is based on the frevo rhythm, and its form is A-B-A. The A section is tonal, in contrast with the atonal B section. The characteristic frevo snare drum figure runs through A and is thus a structural element in that section. Whereas section B’s structuring element is a motive. At the start of the piece, the tempo is closer to that of frevo de bloco. When the A section is heard for the second time, the tempo is closer to that of frevo de rua.

PONTE DOS ECOS

RICARDO BRAFMAN
Adapted from an earlier and longer piece of mine, it includes an echo motive, and some influence (including harmonic) of Brazil’s northeast. Also its overall form is of a kind sometimes called “arch form”. The latter made me think of bridges, which led to the name Ponte dos Ecos or Bridge of Echoes.

DUAS PAISAGENS PARA QUARTETO DE CORDAS (I Roda de Fogo, II Alto do Céu)

PAULO LIMA
The harmonic structure of this quartet goes hand in hand with the architectural harmony of the localities in focus. The facades, the colors, the interiors of the houses, the contorted alleys, the stairways and slopes allowing access to the “sky” multiply naturally, occupying spaces in a random and intuitive way. Here everything is possible: vertical sonorities and melodic lines emerge and progress spontaneously, like images that appear on an imaginary walk through the tortuous paths of these beautiful communities.

ALVORADA

IVANUBIS
Composed for string quartet, this piece was inspired by behavioral, social and landscape imagery associated with the outback in Brazil’s northeast. It inhabits the universes of both popular and concert music, and makes use of rhythmic styles and motifs of folk music whose roots lie in Pernambuco.

ESTUDOS PEQUENOS

MATEUS ALVES
This piece seeks to focus the listener’s (and the players’) attention on “micro listening”. Based on simple harmonies and gestures, these studies explore internal nuances of the sound, such as its lack of constancy and its fragility. The work explores certain extended performance techniques and articulations, from a personal perspective, and suggests a mix of new sounds and colours.

QUADERNA

NELSON ALMEIDA
The title for this composition was borrowed from the novel Romance da Pedra do Reino, by Ariano Suassuna (1971), written in a style known as armorial. Pedro Quaderna is the novel’s protagonist. The quartet was initially named Quadro Quaderna. After changes and updates, it was renamed as Quaderna . The work consists of a single movement with two sections, A and B. Section A is divided into 3 subsections – a, b and c – while B divides into d, e, f and coda. Quaderna blends the armorial style with more general musical material, based on the idiomatic writing of each instrument.

CARRO DE BOI TRANSFIGURADO

VICTOR LUIZ
This is dessicated music, protest music, which makes no pretense of gentle emotions. It is the creak of wood, a shout coming from someone covered in clay, or mud. It is a heavy knife used to cut sugarcane, a child crying out of hunger, it is earth that has never been rained on. Uneasy melodies that are suffocated, an atmosphere in which the air is heavy, not the slightest breeze. All that was green, transfigured into concrete giants that hide the ocean and whip our eyes with their faces of glass. It is irrational, real, algebraic and constant.

RASCUNHOS PARA CORDAS

SYRLANE ALBUQUERQUE
The work has four “minimovements”, thought of as embryos, since they could be developed into longer movements, if the composer wanted to do so. The movements have no titles, something also considered by the composer – each movement has its own character (with only tempo instructions at the start) and it is up to the musicians and the public to decide how to interpret them. Movement I mixes baião and maracatu rhythms, and is a joyful opening movement; movement II evokes melancholy, the same melody being reharmonized a number of ways. Movement III, the shortest one, is an irregular waltz, with many changes of tempo, and contains a great sense of humour. Movement IV, in frevo rhythm, ends the piece in festive mood.

MODUS III - QUARTETO DE CORDAS

PAULO ARRUDA
This brief composition was taken from a series called Modus. It was inspired by what in Brazil’s northeast is called desafio de cantadores repentistas (duel between repente singers). Luís da Câmara Cascudo describes repente as “the right reply given unexpectedly, so as to unsettle the opponent’s improvisation”. The first theme we hear in the piece (marked Calmo) functions as a motif, and is developed throughout the whole work just as in repente’ s improvisation duels. In this piece, unlike repente, the battle does not involve verse. Instead, the conflict involves two tonal centers, in a tonic/dominant relation, as observed by the composer Dierson Torres. One moment the opponents (sadly) murmur about misfortunes, then they set off towards impetuous combat (marked Con fuoco), in which the loser will turn his viola (10 string guitar) facedown.

MARCO ZERO

MAURO MAIBRADA
Marco Zero (meaning, approximately, “starting point”) does not make reference to any geographical point, rather it seeks to represent beginnings, incubators, which, like life itself, start from a point in common — a fact represented, at the piece’s opening, by the members of the quartet playing absolutely in unison. Gradually, like personalities that are becoming formed, the instruments separate and form into groups until — as in contexts relating to faith, philosophy or politics — a general meaning is presented, represented musically here by the theme introduced by the first violin. Soon, the other members begin to “recite” and follow this path, each with their own version. Progressing, reducing, and always in conflict with the inicial “marco zero”. This conflict is felt, or mitigated, a number of times, leading to apparent cohesion and connection, but the doubts are highlighted by the groups of notes and blocks of sound (chords?) which, although rhythmically unified, reveal their disagreements by means of dissonances. The piece continues as if the instruments were hunting each other down, until the final moment, when the final chord seems to ask: “And now, where to?”

FREVANDO III

NILSON LOPES
This piece is based on the frevo rhythm, and its form is A-B-A. The A section is tonal, in contrast with the atonal B section. The characteristic frevo snare drum figure runs through A and is thus a structural element in that section. Whereas section B’s structuring element is a motive. At the start of the piece, the tempo is closer to that of frevo de bloco. When the A section is heard for the second time, the tempo is closer to that of frevo de rua.

PONTE DOS ECOS

RICARDO BRAFMAN
Adapted from an earlier and longer piece of mine, it includes an echo motive, and some influence (including harmonic) of Brazil’s northeast. Also its overall form is of a kind sometimes called “arch form”. The latter made me think of bridges, which led to the name Ponte dos Ecos or Bridge of Echoes.

DUAS PAISAGENS PARA QUARTETO DE CORDAS (I Roda de Fogo, II Alto do Céu)

PAULO LIMA
The harmonic structure of this quartet goes hand in hand with the architectural harmony of the localities in focus. The facades, the colors, the interiors of the houses, the contorted alleys, the stairways and slopes allowing access to the “sky” multiply naturally, occupying spaces in a random and intuitive way. Here everything is possible: vertical sonorities and melodic lines emerge and progress spontaneously, like images that appear on an imaginary walk through the tortuous paths of these beautiful communities.

ALVORADA

IVANUBIS
Composed for string quartet, this piece was inspired by behavioral, social and landscape imagery associated with the outback in Brazil’s northeast. It inhabits the universes of both popular and concert music, and makes use of rhythmic styles and motifs of folk music whose roots lie in Pernambuco.

ESTUDOS PEQUENOS

MATEUS ALVES
This piece seeks to focus the listener’s (and the players’) attention on “micro listening”. Based on simple harmonies and gestures, these studies explore internal nuances of the sound, such as its lack of constancy and its fragility. The work explores certain extended performance techniques and articulations, from a personal perspective, and suggests a mix of new sounds and colours.