Rhapsody for String Quartet

Rhapsody for String Quartet” was commissioned by Mooredale Concerts.

I came up with an interesting concept, something I have never done before; it was rather difficult to write this piece without sounding too obvious. The piece is a Bartokian parody on Liszt's Rhapsody number 2 – basically, Liszt meets Bartok! So I chose the title, however, I was not really sure what a Rhapsody meant for me, until I thought of Liszt's Rhapsodies. I am also fascinated by Bartok's string quartets, especially number 5 so the harmonic language is both mine and Bartok's with a slight melodic and rhythmic flavor of the 2nd Rhapsody.

The opening is slow; it should be recognizable as Liszt'z opening, but harmonized bitonality. It leads to a very Bartokian/Kuzmenko fast section which reaches a climax where I "quote" Liszt's opening idea once again. The coda is very quick, rhapsodic and exciting as the piece ends "con fuoco"!! I thought it was interesting to incorporate both composers into this piece, since both of them are Hungarian. When I thought about what a Rhapsody meant for me, it was always a Hungarian Rhapsody that came to mind. So I tied in the Hungarian idea by choosing two Hungarian composers.

The work should be fun for both the audience and hopefully for the performers.

Larysa Kuzmenko / 2012