The Chamber Music Network

Debussy and Zarvos -The Music of the 2019 ACMP Livestream Masterclass

In preparation of the ACMP Livestream Masterclass here is some background on the pieces being explored.

Nepomuk’s Dances I - Arrival 

A student of classical music since his teens, Brazilian-born composer Marcelo Zarvos (1969) went on to attend the Berklee College of Music and later delved into jazz and other genres. He has done extensive work for films, including Kissing Jessica Stein, The Door in the Floor, Sin Nombre, and FencesNepomuk’s Dances, among other works, has been recorded a number of times by string quartets. The piece opens with first movement “Arrival,” where Zarvos employs a unique blend of minimalism and folk song. Interweaving textures and melody combined with bustling rhythmic dance give the piece life. 

Zarvos writes this about the piece: “Nepomuk's Dances was inspired by a character from the book Dr. Faustus by Thomas Mann. In the book, a modern reworking of the Faust legend, composer Adrian Leverkuhn sells his soul, and the ability to love his fellow man, in exchange for unparalleled musical accomplishments. The character Nepomuk, Leverkuhn’s nephew, appears in the last third of the book and becomes a catalyst for Leverkuhn’s realization of just how serious and ultimately fatal his bargain was.” The master class will focus on the first movement “Arrival.” 


Find scores for Nepomuk's Dances I - Arrival - provided courtesy of the composer (click on full score or instrumental part to download)Full Score    Violin 1  Violin 2  Viola  Cello 


String Quartet 1 in G minor, Op. 10

Achille-Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was a French composer whose works were seminal to the break from the Romantic music of the 18th and 19th Century and its transformation into something new. He is considered by some to be the first Impressionist composer, though he rejected the term. He developed a highly original system of harmony and musical structure that ushered in the modern era and represented and echoed ideals of poets and painters of the time. 

Debussy wrote only one string quartet, the String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 (1893). It was also the only piece to which he gave an opus number or a key. Outwardly, the quartet assumes the mold of a traditional string quartet comprising four movements: a first movement sonata, a rhythmic scherzo full of inventive pizzicato effect, a slow melodically rich third movement, and an energetic finale. However, its inner structure, novel textures, tonal shifts, and unconventional chord progressions marked divorce from the rules of classical harmony and pointed the way forward. 

The master class will focus on the first movement “Animé et très décidé”.

Find scores for the Debussy Quartet below (click on full score or instrumental part to download)Full Score   Violin 1  Violin 2  Viola  Cello 


Learn more about the master class  and how to further participate here: