Premiered by the Arditti String Quartet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts ICA London 22nd October 1995.
SCHREIE UND MELANCHOLIE is dedicated to the Arditti Quartet and was commissioned with support from the Danish Arts Foundation. In the summer of 1993 I worked briefly on some sketches for a choral suite with texts by Georg Trakl. The project was abandoned, but the moods from Trakl's poetry, in which 'scream' and 'melancholy' are key words, stuck in my mind when I began working on my fourth string quartet. This is music full of high siren-like wails and almost infinitely descending glissandi which permeate a landscape of warped tonal harmony.
SCHREIE UND MELANCHOLIE is in four movements, played attacca. The third movement is a barcarole - a memory of an autumn in Venice.