String Quartet No.3 'Three Miniatures' was composed by Per Nørgård in 1959. Manuscript copy.
The spectrum of sound, the gesticulation – in short, the very nature of the strings – has always had a central place in my output, demonstrated by the numbers of string quartets, concertos with string soloist, chamber and solo works. The interest dates back to my school years, when I was fortunate to be able to compose for a cello-playing schoolmate and to accompany him on the piano. I discovered then the innumerable nuances of sound and playing varieties offered by just one bow, four strings and five fingers...
The Three Miniatures for string quartet has a consequent experimental structure that dictates every note in the three extremely short movements. Each member of the quartet thus plays his own little melody a certain (but different) number of times so that the brand new soundscopes constantly appear in spite of the unchanging parts, due to their different length.