String Quartet No. 2 - "Indian Summer" (2000)
for Two Violins, Viola, and Cello





STRING QUARTET NO. 2 -"Indian Summer" was written in the summer of 2000.  The material for the work is derived from a four-minute keyboard improvisation.  I used the improvisation as both material and a suggestive reference, part Rorschach test - part pitch source.  I allowed the work to grow and take shape as I wrote it, the "meaning" of the work becoming clear only as I was finishing.

An Indian Summer is a period of mild, dry weather in the late Autumn or early Winter in Canada or the United States.  It is a time of plenty, falling after harvest, and can be a time of great hope.  Sometimes, plants will actually bud and flower in response to a mistaken spring.  But that only seems to make the return of cold Winter weather even harsher and more oppressive.  

My composition at the time was experiencing a great flowering of inspiration.  In my fiftieth year, I felt as if I was experiencing a great beginning.  The work, therefore, became to be about the act of its own composition.  I worked on it with great passion and, then, began to realize it was actually a tragedy.  It became rather disconcerting.

Someone once said to me while discussing a very emotional work that the composer showed "great faith in the power of music."  This string quartet is that kind of work for me.  Music expresses many things about the human spirit all at once, some of which may seem contradictory but in reality are just part of the human experience.  That is the only explanation I have for the joy I feel about this work which, at its core, is really quite sad.








Glenn Stallcop      13842 South 36th Place    Phoenix, AZ   85044   602-621-0630