The Imaginary Quartet (Vivaldi, Paganini, Casals and Hindemith)
Materials Cast glass, laser-cut steel, wood
The idea for this piece began when I was reading about The Virtual Orchestra Project put together by the composer Glen Hodes. The concept is that musicians from around the world would record and submit their parts. These would then be mixed in the studio into a finished orchestral performance without the musicians ever coming together.
Jumping off from this notion I decided what I would like to do would be to gather
musicians into an imaginary string quartet that could never have played together. Early in my career I was acquainted with Joel Krosnick the cellist in the Julliard String Quartet who said that it is not necessarily the greatest soloists that make a successful ensemble. That said, I still dreamed of the possibility of assembling a group of what may be considered the greatest virtuosos of their instruments.
Obviously, I could have never heard Vivaldi and Paganini, so I relied on the host of music historians who determined that they were the greatest virtuosos of the violin and whose mastery of technique modernized the playing of the instrument. The other two musicians made numerous recordings and therefore were easier to select. These four instrumentalists are of course my preferences and their place can certainly be debated. It was important to me that each member of this group be a composer as well since I wanted to include their music as a part of the visual composition that ties the sculpture together.
The music that I have chosen was written specifically for their instrument of preference. Vivaldi: Four Seasons (Spring), Paganini: Caprice no. 24 in A minor for Violin, Casals: Sardana for Cello Orchestra, and Hindemith: Viola Sonata opus 11 no.4
This sculpture is somewhat of a departure for me since my usual path is to create three-dimensional documentaries about individuals who have done remarkable things. In this case I was not concerned so much with the lives of the musicians but how they might look together and the imagination of the music that they might have played.