Chamber Strings

Contemporary works for chamber strings – a collection of 20th and 21st century chamber music by composer David Avshalomov, including sound files and scores.
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Score
Title
Scoring
Dur.
Year
view score Dance Advanced student violin, intermediate piano 3′ 1995
Order This» A playful nod to Bartok’s children’s pieces on Balkan folk songs, written for my sons studying violin and piano.
view score Diversion violin, 5 pedal timpani 5′ 1966
Order This» Dancy etude in repeating polymeters that unfolds from a bouncing, rhythmic motif. Simple, tonal, and popular. ABA form; lyrical middle with drums on the melody; brash ending. Written for my Harvard senior recital. A continual recital favorite. See on YouTube Notes»
view score String Quartet string quartet 28′ 1974/79
Order This» A valedictory work. Still tonal, more modern than my later works, even a brief episodic flirtation with melodic serialism (a path I never pursued). Notes»
I. Masks, Roles, Humors 9′
Elements of sonata form including full return of opening materials; exploratory use of recurring thematic segments. Dreamy opening yielding to a rhythmic, dancelike character, emphatic slowed coda that dissolves in a complex, bitter harmony.
II. Scherzo (Rondetto) 2’45
Brief, lively, whimsical varied rondo–with increasingly distorted returns of the rondo subject that threaten the form.
III. The Dream 16’20
Slow, intense finale, starting with the highest, quietest sounds; reflects a long, troubled dream sequence, full of anxiety, childish resentments, and ultimately sadness, ending in a bleak, grey dawn.
view score Trotzky’s Train piano sextet (with string bass) 40′ 2007, rev. 2008
Order This» Tragic, bittersweet neo-romantic piano sextet reflecting on the 1917 Russian Revolution and the resulting tragedy of Stalinist oppression. Runs the gamut from foreboding to loss, sad memory, sweet farewell and acceptance, to an increasingly grim dialectic between the truth of Stalinism (not real Socialism) and the sweet tragic Russian soul, with a deadly and inevitable end. Some solistic role for the piano. Also version for string orchestra/piano, winner of a Special Citation for Unique Artistic Achievement, AMERICAN PRIZE for Orchestral Composition 2012 Notes»
I. Romanovs’ Last Ball 10’30
In a tragic, relentless waltz, the end of the Tsar. Full of sudden jolts and fierce drive, between passages of sweeping, aching lyricism. Brutal end.
II. Memento Mori (Adagio) 12’20
Slow memorial to the millions of victims of the Stalinist purges, their fear, their suffering, their disappearing, the waste of souls. (And by extension to all victims of horrific totalitarian oppression. Appropriate also for Yom HaShoah–Holocaust Remembrance.) Belongs mostly to the string quintet. Bitter start, sweet mourning dance, grim reprise, restful sweet ending.
III. Trotzky’s Train 17’30
An intractable dialectic between Marxist cant and the sweet sadness of the ancient, suffering Russian soul. Join us as Commissar Trotsky and his staff roll around the Russian countryside in his customized train-headquarters, rallying the demoralized Red army for the dual war against the Axis and the Whites. Vigorous ethnic flavors, train energy, prayers, church bells, battle, the night train, a huge oratorical peroration in a Russian Romantic piano cadenza, and a grim relentless end where Stalin has the last laugh.
view score Bartok – Farewell transcribed for string quartet 1’45
Order This» (from “For Children”)