Martin Butler Sequenza Notturna (2003)
For piano quartet
As its title implies, the piece is nocturnal in character and is constructed from a sequence of episodes which serve gradually to expose a central monody (heard in its full climactic version only towards the end of the piece). There is a gradual accumulation of momentum built into the sequence, initiated by an ubiquitous and partially decorated stream of repeated notes on the viola, near the outset.
Sequenza Notturna is dedicated to the memory of Luciano Berio (1925-2003).
Sequenza Notturna was written for the Schubert Ensemble, who gave its premiere on July 7th 2003 at the City of London Festival. It is the second work the composer has written for the group, the first being American Rounds, written in 1998. It was commissioned by The Schubert Ensemble with funds gratefully received from the Schubert Ensemble Trust.