Quartet San Francisco

Pacific Premieres track notes by Jeremy Cohen

California Pictures for String Quartet (Gordon Goodwin) was composed for Quartet San Francisco in 2012. It is his second work for string quartet, with his first string quartet following as tracks 8 through 10. In the brisk driving rhythm of Oakland (track 1), Goodwin reflects the energy and drive of the city. He quickly establishes a hard-swinging funky groove and the piece is off and running. The quartet speaks in a counterpoint that marks Goodwin’s driving big band sound, first building tension, then breaking into solos—violin 2 followed by viola, then into the violin 1 solo.

Carmel (track 2) lulls us with its wandering melody, suggesting the beauty and calm of this seaside town. Gordon Goodwin’s writing adeptly animates imagery and his long legato lines in Carmel are natural for a string quartet, almost causing us to forget the composer’s big band roots.

Venice Beach is a wild and crazy Los Angeles neighborhood, and its vigor and quirkiness shine in Venice (track 3)Read more