Piano Quartet

John Burge
John Burge
Composition Date: 2012
Duration: 00:33:00
Genre: Strings (bowed), + Keyboard, Quartet (Violin / Viola / Cello / Keyboard)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
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Programme Note:
John Burge’s first piano quartet is a big, three-movement work written by a composer who truly revels in the sonorous variety of textures and emotions that are possible in chamber music. Each of the three movements has a particular character but an overall, arc-type formal structure is apparent in the way that the middle movement has a scherzo framed by two slow sections, all of which is surrounded by two faster-paced movements. This central scherzo is unusual not only for its reckless speed, but also in the way that the music hides mysteriously in the background with muted strings and scurrying piano writing. The work’s first movement begins with a somewhat minimalistic texture of repeated chords presented in an overlapping fashion between the piano and the strings who collectively employ passages of six-note, double-stopped chords. This opening chordal material contrasts audibly with a quirky figure that wanders around in a more contrapuntal fashion for the rest of the first movement. In the final movement, after a brief introduction, an energetic bass line heard first in the piano propels the music energetically forward in its many returns. Before the end of the third movement, this rhythmic bass line builds to an initially hidden reappearance of the first movement’s repeated chords thereby reinforcing the overall arc of the composition. John Burge is grateful to the talented performers of the Ensemble Made in Canada piano quartet for commissioning this work and to whom the work is dedicated. The work was premiered on the ensemble’s tour of British Columbia and Alberta in the spring of 2012.

Premiere Information:
17/05/2012, Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna, BC; Ensemble Made in Canada Piano Quartet


  • Call Number:
  • MI 3236 B954pi
  • Genre:
  • Strings (bowed), + Keyboard, Quartet (Violin / Viola / Cello / Keyboard)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • December 20, 2012
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (68 p.) ;
    68 Pages
    Height: 32 cm
    Width: 24 cm
    Parts page count: 68
    3 parts ([68] p.) ;
    Height: 32 cm
    Width: 24 cm
  • Additional Information:

  • 1. Con moto
    2. Adagietto-Presto mysterioso-Adagietto
    3. Allegro ritmico
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Available Products for this piece:

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Piano Quartet: Score
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Piano Quartet: Score and Parts
Score and Parts
(downloadable PDF)
Piano Quartet by John Burge (Score)
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Piano Quartet by John Burge (Score and Parts)
Printed on demand
Chamber Music of John BurgeChamber Music of John BurgeCD $13.98
Piano Quartet
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