The String Quartet No. 1 was commissioned by the Oxford String Quartet. The musical material for the three movements is generated from motives in the first five bars of the work.
Total duration: ca. 12′ 30″
The work is published by Seesaw/Subito Music of Verona, New Jersey.
The work can be heard also on Albany Records: Harvey J. Stokes: String Quartets Nos. 1-3, TROY 288.
Chamber Music Instrumentation: 2 Violins, Viola, Violoncello.
Performed 4/24/91; 4/28/91; 11/17/91; 11/18/91; 11/22/91; 3/30/92; 4/5/92; 3/14/93; 3/27/93; 3/29/93; 3/5/96; 3/7/96 by the Oxford String Quartet in Oxford, Ohio; Youngstown, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Kalamazoo, Michigan.; New York, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Hampton VA.; Lima, Ohio; Celina, Ohio; Troy, Ohio; and Fort Wayne, Indiana respectively.
Performed 3/6/92, 3/12/92 by the Quapaw String Quartet in Little Rock, Ark. and Tuscaloosa, Alabama at the 26th annual National Conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. respectively.
Daily Press, Sunday, Oct. 4, 1998
Arts & Leisure
Dr. Harvey Stokes, professor of music at Hampton University, is featured in an international release on the Albany label containing his three string quartets. Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis also is featured on a new Telarc disk. Both contain fascinating music of our century.
The Albany label out of New York state has long been one of the exemplary labels for introducing American music. Its latest disk (TROY 288) finds the Oxford String Quartet in fine form performing the trio of quartets Stokes composed between 1990 and 1996 for the Oxonians. There is a captivating intricacy and mystery to this music, with moments of great repose and passages of bustling energy. The detailed program notes by the composer detail the rich chromaticism employed in these scores, things like the pentatonic and diatonic and the particularly striking employment of what he calls the chromatic octachord. For connoisseurs of sophisticated string writing, this trio of quartets make a distinguished addition to the repertoire. The performances are, needless to say, definitive.
Telarc showcases the brilliant young American harpist Yolanda Kondonassis in “Pictures of the Floating World” (CD-80488). The title comes from a composition by George Rochberg. Kondonassis herself notes that she has been mesmerized by water since childhood and has always wanted to produce an album with water as a theme. She has done so with great appeal.
A few well-known pieces (Debussy’s “Engulfed Cathedral” and Miyagi’s “Ocean in Springtime”) are mixed with rarities such as Ibert’s “Reflections in the Water” and Tournier’s “By the Brook in the Woods.” Kondonassis even contributes her own “Liquid Shadows.”
I cannot imagine a more soothing and refreshing collection of music. This is better than a bottle of Excedrin when you have had a stressful day, and the variety of music found here is nothing short of enchanting.
Put this disk in your player, prop your feet up, and let Yolanda Kondonassis ease the tensions of the day with her rippling harp virtuosity.
Jones is the station manager at WHRO-FM.