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Joe Cutler Piano Quintet (2002)

For violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano

10 minutes


The Piano Quintet was written in spring of 2002 and is in one continuous movement, divided into three main sections. The first alternates rather hypnotic, fairly fast music with very still contemplative figurations in the piano. The influence behind this section is the work of the Polish composer Tomasz Sikorski whose work I greatly admire and, according to the composer Stephen Montague, used minimalism “more to bludgeon than to entertain”.


The main body of the piece consists of fast moving music that explores a range of textures including a number that resemble small mechanisms or machines. Interspersed is a short piano end of the piece, the original mesmeric idea recurs and the piece drifts off to the meditative piano figurations now accompanied by a lilting violin phrase.


As the premiere was to be in Truro, I used as a starting point for the Piano Quintet some contoural, colouristic and structural ideas from the work of the St Ives artist Patrick heron. A few years ago I attended an exhibition of his at the Tate Gallery which was very impressive.


© Joe Cutler


The Piano Quintet was written for and commissioned by the Schubert Ensemble with funds from South West Arts, the Steel Charitable Trust and the Schubert Ensemble Trust. It was premiered by the Schubert Ensemble at the Hall For Cornwall, Truro on 18th June 2002.

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