N. Shaknazarova: Vorwort zum StreichQuartett #1

N. Shaknazarova: Preface to the String Quartett #1

The Armenian composer AVET TERTERIAN was born in Baku in 1929. In 1957 he graduated from E. Mirzoian’s class of composition at the Yerevan Conservatoire.

Terterian’s music is distinguished for clear-cut imagery, lucid style, transparent and elaborate texture and a free approach to elements of Armenian national music.
The list of Terterian’s works includes compositions in various genres, among them two vocalsym phonic cycles, a sonata for violoncello and piano, pieces for piano, for violin and for cello, romances and popular songs. His “Motherland” a vocal-symphonic cycle to words by Ovanes Tumanian and Ovanes Shiraz (1957), won for the composer a prize at the USSR Contest for Young Musicians in 1962.

Terterian’s String Quartet in C Major (1964) is a work in an unusually brief form, imbued with suppressed inner emotionality.

The first movement (Tranquillo molto) is based on the elaboration of two themes built up on short motives. While the first theme is angular and harsh, the second is gentle and lyrical. The second movement (Presto) consists of two sections unified by the driving motion but differing in character, the first resembling a toccata and the second, a scherzo.

The two movements of the Quartet, together with the coda — a kind of an epilogue — have many thematic elements in common and develop at one breath. This suggests the idea that the whole is a sort of sonata-form, with the first movement standing for the exposition, the second — the development section, and the coda playing the part of the recapitulation.

The Quartet impresses one as an extremely well-knit and integrated work.

preface of String Quartet in C Major
State Publishers Music, Moscow 1966