Quadrivium for three Stradivarius

Xavier Montsalvatge (1912 - 2002)

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When composed Quadrivíum I wanted to evoke the huge impression made on me in my youth by the Pasquier string trio, which was the best of its time. The conjunction of violin, viola and violoncello, without the piano, prompted me to try out the same formula and I gave the work a title that may seem wrong when applied to a trio, but which is meant to allude to an imaginary place where four paths converge.
Thus, the score is organised into four movements, which are also intended to be an exegesis related to the four mathematical arts that constituted the Quadrivium in ancient times, each of which is dominated by a certain compositional property: the form, with regard to music (first movement); rhythmic precision and the perfection of the design, with regard to geometry (second movement); the conjunction of harmony, timbre and distance, with regard to astronomy (third movement), and for the end, arithmetical persistence.

Papers autobiogràfics: a l’abast del record. Xavier Motsalvatge

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