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for String Quartet

Duration: approximately 7 minutes and 10 seconds

Passages was commissioned by the Delta Omicron Foundation under their Thor Johnson Memorial Commission program to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Delta Omicron. It was premiered on July 17, 2009 at the Delta Omicron Triennial Conference in Cincinnati, by the Atlantis String Quartet.

Program Notes

"Passages" conveys not only a musical meaning but also suggests the passing of time, in homage to Delta Omicron's Centennial Anniversary. The single-movement work, cast in Sonata Allegro form, opens with a "motto theme" of four pitches derived from the letters "THOR," consisting of G, the G an octave lower, D and F. The motto theme appears throughout the work in foreground and background guises, and it is from the motto that the first subject of the piece is derived. Although a brief lyrical second subject offers tempo and mood contrast, the work largely proceeds in a brillante fashion from opening to conclusion, exploring and then restating the motto and the two subjects. After the return of both subjects in the recapitulation, an extended coda references all thematic material to bring the work to an affirming conclusion.

About the Thor Johnson Commission

The Thor Johnson Commission, awarded every three years by the Delta Omicron Foundation to an eminent composer of concert music in memory of distinguished conductor Thor Martin Johnson, funds the creation of a new chamber work to be featured at Delta Omicron’s Triennial Conference. The 2009 conference for which this work was composed also celebrates the Centennial Anniversary of Delta Omicron.

In fulfilling this commission the composer writes, “The String Quartet is one of the oldest chamber ensembles. Its distinctive voice has enthralled musicians and listeners for centuries, yet it continues to attract and intrigue the finest composers and performers of our time. Delta Omicron is poised to celebrate not only its venerable history of service and fellowship, but also its vital mission in today’s diverse musical culture. The juxtaposition of past and present embodied in the fraternity is mirrored in the String Quartet genre, which also enjoys both a long tradition and a vibrant contemporary appeal.”


Violin 1
Violin 2

Published by Metamorphic Music.