by Anthony Ritchie, for string quartet, Opus 158

Written for the NZ String Quartet, this is an intense and moving work that evokes what happens when we lower our masks and reveal out true selves.

Programme Note

This work was written for The New Zealand String Quartet to celebrate my father's 90th year. It is in one continuous movement, divided into three sections:

This work is about the struggle to show and express emotion openly. Many of us put on masks to hide our true feelings, and if this happens too much it can lead to an explosion, where pent-up emotions are released suddenly. This release is often followed by a sense of catharsis, that might take the form of tears following a rage. Gradually, as a normal state of mind returns, we put up our mask once more. The music attempts to express these ideas while maintaining a unified structure. One reference worth mentioning is the idea that first appears at letter A, a small quotation from a hymn called 'Soul of my Saviour'.