Prelude for String Quartet (Fine, Vivian)




MP3 file (audio)
Rhymesandchymes (2013/4/26)

Performers performers unknown
Publisher Info. Vivian Fine estate
Misc. Notes From an old recording with so-so audio quality. Uploaded because it's the only extant recording, to my knowledge.
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Sheet Music


PDF typeset by Paul Hawkins
rhymesandchymes (2012/5/8)

Publisher. Info. Vivian Fine Estate
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General Information

Work Title Prelude for String Quartet
Alternative. Title
Composer Fine, Vivian
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 1 movement
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1937
First Performance. 1939-03-26, New York City, Town Hall Club, League of Composers’ Concert. Frederick Dvonch, Dorothy Kesner, violins, Edward Neikrug,viola, and George Neikrug, cello
Average DurationAvg. Duration 2 3/4 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation 2 violins, viola, cello

Misc. Comments

Sessions did not go in for fulsome praise. “I like it” was for him quite a compliment. However, he was much taken by the opening of [Prelude for String Quartet]. He said he wished he could have written it and said I had “aural vision.” This remark sustained me for many years.

—Vivian Fine, quoted in Heidi Von Gunden, The Music of Vivian Fine, Scarecrow Press, 1999, 25

Prelude for String Quartet is similar to Piece for Muted Strings in terms of gesture, meter, tempo and tonality, but demonstrates how Fine broke the reins of tonality. Her acute hearing was able to take a simple motif…and expand it into long sinuous lines. Although the Prelude has an A major key signature and does end on an A major triad, tonality is not a constraint. The Prelude’s beginning has a spaciousness that suggests a longer piece (it is a mere thirty-four measures)…. Although the Piece for Muted Strings and the Prelude work well as a pair, they were not originally intended as such.

—Von Gunden, The Music of Vivian Fine, 26-27