String Quartet No. 2 ("From the Beginning")

For string quartet
Commissioned by Earplay.
May, 23rd 2005
The San Francisco International Arts Festival, Herbst Theater, Veterans War Memorial, San Francisco, California.
Terrie Baune and Lisa Weiss, violins, Ellen Ruth Rose, viola and Thalia Moore, cello


  • New York Times Review

    "A rumbling cello line and angular violin melodies give From the Beginning (2005), by the American composer Richard Festinger, a sense of mystery... that evaporates in the fast second movement, which builds on tremolando figures and driven rhythms to create a bright, lively finale."

    – Allan Kozinn
  • San Francisco Classical Voice review

    “Richard Festinger's From the Beginning (String Quartet No.2), a world premiere, found this composer working at a very high level in a work marked by intelligence, focused clarity and expressive depth. The first of two movements, very slow and deeply beautiful, employed muted melodic fragments as the basis for brief imitative episodes... with tremolos creating momentum to support brief, pointed lines above them, the lyrical figures of the opening movement gave way to tighter, more chromatic lines, as the ensemble writing sustained the initial quality of a complex, thoughtful dialogue at a faster pace.”

    – Benjamin Frandzel
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