The Wedding at Cana

(after the Master of the Spanish Kings) for string quartet

Christopher Fox

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(after the Master of the Spanish Kings) for string quartet

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Composer Christopher Fox
Year of Composition 2013
Duration ca.18'
Instrumentation 2 Violins, Viola, Violoncello
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-cf1twac1

Notes

For a long time I wanted to write a string quartet based on dance music; the minuet was an essential part of Haydn’s conception of the string quartet but more recently there have been relatively few attempts to update this aspect of the form. It also occurred to me that for many people today the string quartet is an ensemble only encountered at weddings. These ideas came together when I saw a painting called ‘The Marriage at Cana’, by a painter known only as ‘The Master of the Spanish Kings’, in the National Museum of Art in Washington in August 2012. The painting nests different spaces, visual scales and styles of representation inside one another and in The Wedding at Cana (after the Master of the Spanish Kings) I have taken a handful of the most popular tunes played at weddings these days and subjected them to a similar treatment. Each tune has a different underlying metre and a different mode and they are overlaid and juxtaposed with one another; the experience might be a bit like walking from room to room at a party where each room has its own music.

The Wedding at Cana (after the Master of the Spanish Kings) was commissioned by the Sound Festival and premiered by the Edinburgh Quartet in King’s College Chapel, Aberdeen University on 26th October 2013.