George Walker

String Quartet, No. 2


String Quartet, No. 2 was completed in 1968, it received its premiere in Town Hall, New York in September of that year.  The performers were the New England Festival Quartet.

A brief, slow introduction in the first movement is followed by the principal section marked "doppio movimento".  The writing for each instrument is soloistic and somewhat rhapsodic.  The second movement is a three part form with scherzo-like characteristics and syncopations in the first and third parts.  The middle section begins with a lyrical viola solo that continues in the first violin. In the third movement, the melodic content passes from instrument to instrument in the context of a pizzicato commentary.  The fourth movement's introduction in bridged by sixteenth notes in the viola that lead to the subject of a strenuous four part fugue.  A contrasting section, slightly slower affords some relief from the intensity of the fugal pace.  The concluding measures of the movement are dramatic and resolving.