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Quintet for strings, Op. 22

Date of Composition: 2010; rev. 2012, 2015, 2023

Duration: 6 Minutes

Instrumentation: Two Violins, Viola, Two Celli

Commissioner: Symbiosis Ensemble

Program Notes: The Quintet for Strings (Two Violins, Viola and Two Celli) was commissioned by the Symbiosis Chamber Orchestra as a part of their Listening Alive concert series. Originally programmed alongside Schubert’s Great C Major Quintet, the Quintet is meant to conjure a sense of the Viennese elegance and decadence of the 19th century with a hint of modernist quirk. A lofty introduction makes way for a jaunty transition to the graceful theme in the first violin that is regular interrupted by the rest of the ensemble. The theme never has the opportunity to fully develop before shifting harmonic movement forces it to move forward in an unexpected direction leading to the second violin ushering in a slow duet between the first violin and viola.   The duo reaches its peak and quickly subverts itself to a capricious pizzicato, dovetailing into the original theme, now fully stated.   Once the climax of the theme is reached, a nobly mysterious transition opens the strings for a romantic interpretation of the theme, developed and shared among the ensemble before returning to a more delicate coloring of the transition and finally leading to a more rococo of the pieces’ introduction.   The main theme comes back for one last appearance, coupled with a more flamboyant accompaniment before leading to a n abrupt coda and a definitive pesante finale.

Performance History:

-January 12th, 2011; Music at MiMoDa– Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-January 27th, 2012; Listening Alive!! – Russian Hall; Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-January 28th, 2012; Listening Alive!! – First Lutheran Church & School; Torrance, California – 8PM

-April 2nd, 2017; Enlightenment Music Series; 21st Century Composers; Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church; Pasadena, California – 5PM

George N. Gianopoulos


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