AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): String Quartet No. 4 "Nrsimha", Mayu for Marimba and String Quartet, 3 Fragments of Piya for Solo Marimba.
Catalogue Number: 12N084
Description: The quartet is an explicitly programmatic work, illustrating a dramatic, if bloodthirsty, Hindu myth. In four movements, conforming to a traditional pattern, the piece assigns characters to specific members of the ensemble for key episodes of the story, and their material is then played more or less in a conventional manner, while the rest of the quartet provide a clustered or noise-textured haze. A range of extended techniques is employed throughout, and the work is plainly very demanding (it was written for the Ardittis). Mayu (Cocoon) was also written for these performers; here the marimba has the most concrete material, while the quartet provides texture in swooping, skittering gestures. The solo marimba work consists of three movements; the first tonal, the second modal, while the last is an obsessively rhythmic study in a much more ambiguously tonal vocabulary. The contrasting character of the movements illustrate three facets of the Buddhist concept of love. Arditti Quartet, Pedro Carneiro (marimba).