String Quartet


For two violins, viola, and cello.




by James M. Stephenson

Written and premiered in 1995 in Naples, FL

Stephenson’s String Quartet is a depiction of a cross-country cycling trip he made in 1994, that started in Astoria, Oregon, and ended in Charleston, South Carolina.

The middle movement “ Back Roads of Missouri “ was actually a surprise birthday present for his wife. This movement was premiered in their living room, early in the morning, on her 29th birthday. 

The last movement is a perpetual motion work, meant to describe the mad dash to the finish after 9 weeks on the road. Every measure is constant 16ths, from beginning to end.

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