Thomas Schuttenhelm provides a detailed account of the events leading up to and throughout the compositional process associated with Michael Tippett’s Fifth String Quartet and a comprehensive analysis of the entire quartet. The commentary discusses this work in the context of Tippett’s creative development and places it within the historical context of the genre of the string quartet. The commentary includes interviews with the members of the Lindsay String Quartet, who premiered the work, as well as previously unpublished letters from the composer and interviews with Tippett in which he discusses the quartet in detail. Special attention is given to Tippett’s preliminary attempts, which were only recently discovered (2011) and to the evidence that suggests he altered the original ending. Included are images from the composer’s sketchbooks and manuscripts, as well as the original beginning and the altered ending.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; 2. Pre-conditions; 3. Creative cycles; 4. Transformation-notation; 5. Archetypes; 6. Dreamscapes; 7. From concept to composition; 8. Compositional peregrinations; 9. Interlude; 10. Second movement
Thomas Schuttenhelm is a composer and guitarist working in a variety of media including music for the concert stage, theatre, dance, and performance art. His scholarly interests include: the history of the guitar, opera, and contemporary music performance practices and interpretation. He has published numerous books and articles including The Selected Letters of Michael Tippett and The Creative Development and the Compositional Process in the Orchestral Music of Michael Tippett. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, and in 2008 he was made a British Music Studies Fellow at the Harry Ransom Center.