String Quartet No.7
Recognition (2016)
duration: 22’
GRT • 185

recording available
Bushfire Dreams
Ormond String Quartet
Tall Poppies, TP263, 2019

score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
I. Schubert, 1828
Brahms, 1864
Debussy, 1905
Strauss, 1948

Written for Flinders Quartet, this work was commissioned by Julian Burnside to celebrate the birthday of Barry Jones. This 7th string quartet is subtitled
Recognition in reference to Barry’s recent book, The Shock of Recognition, but also as ‘recognition’ for Barry’s championing and support of the arts in general.

The 4 movements of this quartet reference 4 well-known works from the Western canon (presented chronologically, spanning 120 years). In his book, Barry describes these works as ‘tragic’, ‘passionate’, ‘evocative’ and ‘sublime’ respectively.

The title of each movement provides a clue as to the identity of the work (the composer and year in which it was written).
String Quartet No.7 presents hidden variations on prominent themes from these works, but toward the end of each movement the original is revealed more overtly, allowing ‘recognition’. The intended effect is to reveal what has been heard all along without consciously knowing it (though the movements may also be appreciated on their own terms without knowledge of the originals).

The premiere performance was given at 45 Downstairs, Melbourne with Kathryn Taylor, Zoe Freisberg, Helen Ireland and Zoe Knighton
on 18 October 2016.

“Each movement of Stuart Greenbaum’s seventh quartet (2016) genuflects towards masters such as Schubert, Brahms and Debussy.”
Vincent Plush, The Australian, January 2020