Un fond de paysage triste et glacé

String quartet


At the beginning of his piano prelude Des pas sur la neige, Debussy includes the following performance instruction: “Ce rythme doit avoir la valeur sonore d’un fond de paysage triste et glacé” (“This rhythm must have the sonorous value of a sad and frozen landscape”).  I have modeled my string quartet abstractly on Debussy’s prelude. The aim was to evoke the essence of the prelude’s phrases, conjuring the same images, without quotation of the prelude. Every now and then however, for example in the very opening notes of the quartet, one can hear Debussy’s music peeking through.