Faye-Ellen Silverman

Pregnant Pauses

Year: 2005

Duration (in minutes): 9'39;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, string ensemble, string quartet

Instruments: any string, guitar

Publisher: Subito Music Corporation

Description: Pregnant Pauses, written for the Corona Guitar Quartet, is in three short movements. Part of the work's title comes from a comment that my former teacher, Otto Luening, made shortly before his death in 1996. on the need to allow a work to breathe. So I began to think about pacing - and of using a pause (a silence) as a way of allowing for something new to happen. Thus the silence becomes "pregnant" with expectation. The first movement makes extensive use of the opening chord – meant to replicate the full sound of flamenco guitar. The opening melody (stated in measure 5) – EFAFE – provides the basis this and for the other two movements. It also returns in a direct restatement at the end of the movement, but at a tempo anticipating the second movement. The opening of this latter movement is a slight expansion of the fifth measure melody, but at a slower pace. Using variations on this material, this movement shows off the beautiful melodic qualities of the guitars. The third movement follows directly from the second. It begins with the pitches C D Eb D – a modification of the main theme of the first movement. It is meant to show off the virtuosic playing of the Corona Guitar Quartet, for whom this piece was written. This movement ends with references to the melodic material and tempi of the first two.

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