Aurochs and Angels was composed in 1994 and then revised over a longer period of time in 2000. I have been abandoning string quartet ideas for twenty-five years and I was both surprised and delighted when this one took hold. The weight of the medium's tradition, both formally and texturally, seemed always to loom as a barrier. For myself in this piece the obstacle was overtuned in two ways-forgetting about classical form and freeing the cello from its lowest voice functionn. The title comes form the end of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, a beautiful metaphor for the twin spans of eternity. The angels are probably clearer than the aurochs (an extinct specie of oxen), but this would be my preference in music as well as the general population.
Aurochs and Angels
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