Quiet, Impassioned


Very much looking forward to the world premiere last night of a string quartet movement composed by a friend, I listened intently for the "quiet, impassioned"quality she had specified in the tempo of the movement.   Let me start by saying that the playing was exquisite: I had gone to the concert of mostly premieres extremely tired, prepared to fall asleep; yet my attention had been held throughout the evening by splendid instrumental playing.  
To me one of the greatest strengths of a composition is that it can evoke emotion without pronouncing it out loud.  Naturally, that is extremely difficult for a player to do, and it must be extremely difficult for a composer to deal with.  
The best example I can give is of a melodic line that seems to rise, or that wants to crescendo, but must not be allowed to.  Difficult. 


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