The Sun was Chasing Venus

string quintet
2012
Duration 15’
Instrumentation 2 violins, 2 violas, cello
First Performance 3 April 2014, Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, Georgia, US; The Dover Quartet with Daniel Lee (viola)
Commissioned by Daniel Hope and Savannah Music Festival
Buy/Preview score & parts

Driven with frenetic energy, The Sun was Chasing Venus is through-composed, vividly moving between contrasting sections. Featuring the violas in an expressive dialogue is a slower, hazy episode which gives way to a violin solo with sparse, rhythmic accompaniment. Brisk music returns in a playful, excitable section, before a cadenza-like cello solo.

The piece takes its shape from the concept of ascending, the music always rising. The title, an abstract description of the work, represents the idea of a game of pursuit; musical lines chasing each other, out of which comes a sense of journey.