Three Pieces for Strings

by Anthony Ritchie, for string orchestra, Opus 4

Strongly astringent short pieces, featuring an expressive passacaglia based on a 12-note row. This movement was revised by the composer in 2001, and can stand alone as a 5-minute adagio.

Programme Note

These pieces were composed while Ritchie was a second year student at Canterbury University, in 1980. They recieved their first performance at the Cambridge Summer Music school later that year.

The three movements are entitled: 'Agitation', 'Resignation' and 'Desperation', and show a willingness to explore free-tonal effects to create a restless quality in the music. 'Resignation' is a Shostakovich-like passicaglia, based on a 12-note theme, while the opening movement features changing metres.