The renowned Jasper String Quartet premiered Lera Auerbach‘s string quartet No. 10 “Frozen Dreams” on March 6, 2020 in Tucson, Arizoni, USA. The piece was commissioned by Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, supported by Leonid Friedlander and Elena Landis, for the joint composition “Four Seasons” for string quartet. Four composers were commissioned to contribute one movement each. In addition to Lera Auerbach, who deals with the topic of winter in the “Frozen Dreams”, these are Akira Nishimura, Chris Theofanidis and Joan Tower.
The pianist, poet and composer precedes her string quartet No. 10 “Frozen Dreams” with a self-written poem entitled “The Seasons”, which we add here:
Lera Auerbach: “The Seasons”
Life is an ouroboros. Spring
Doesn’t keep count, but accurately binds
Everything and everyone, life and death.
For centuries, this world’s rebirth has turned
The earth. Only God, surely, knows
What lies behind this endless rotation.
When life lies ahead, we are more honest;
Stripping down the earth, we lay our deposit on love.
At times like this we can be happy in a cell
And the poorest shelter can become our palace.
At this age, the year seems long
And we battle windmills like the Don.
The days pass, and in this time of life
Spent Spring feels Summer’s farewell breath behind.
We grow used to maturity, and it always
Reminds us of home, of our native land,
Of household chores, and of the family,
Of work and the titles we have taken on …
This time of hot middays, when the sun
Stares straight into its own reflection
It’s single eye shattering the water
(Life allows us to submit to the flow) –
Stamping out grains of dust with yellow rays
It reaches the height of its paralyzed state.
The days pass and the birds fly by, away.
The leaves fall, fall, but still they cannot
Quite find a way to settle on the ground …
At times my thoughts cohere –
A sign offered up my senses
Like a question put to a departing God.
Life resembles a flowing garment. Sewn
Out of days like a toga’s folds, the last
Made from foreknowledge of coming winter.
The cradle is draped with sunset’s shroud.
And the fir tree’s fractured trunk
Crooked, like a hanging question mark.
The days pass. Crows’ nests –
Old rags on the bare branches.
The snow settling on your temple
No longer even melts, and iron nails
Start to come loose, and the frame of the house
Breaks up, springing leaks like a canoe
Or like an ancient ship. And the heart’s gasp
Oppresses. Something weighs down on your breast
Sounds are muffled … The deadly scaffold
Rises up suddenly, a cross on your path;
So unexpected is it that you have
Time for just three words: “For everything – forgive.”
World Premiere Lera Auerbach.
“Frozen Dreams”. String Quartet No. 10
(Jasper String Quartet)
– Commissioned by Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, supported by Leonid Friedlander and Elena Landis, for the joint composition “Four Seasons” for string quartet –