String Quartet No. 1 "The Absurd"
Advanced Intermediate Difficulty
About the Piece
This piece for String Quartet explores Albert Camus’s The Stranger. Each movement tries to capture not only plot, but also the complex philosophy of the Absurd. Absurdism is a philosophy that explains the human condition and our purpose in life. Unlike Existentialism, which empowers the individual to create purpose, or Nihilism, that asserts the meaninglessness of life, Absurdism is a middle ground philosophy asserting that an individual is stuck in a meaninglessness existence – but that one must still live passionately with a strong love for life while fighting society and the conditions of that meaninglessness. This complex idea is translated musically by the numerous occasions of a C Major chord followed by one voice moving to a G#. This tension is never resolved throughout the majority of the work and the harmonic spelling of that G# is maintained consistently.
Fun for a developing string ensemble.