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Allegories
For String Quartet.

Detail from Czech String Quartet, by George Kayser.
An allegory is a form of extended metaphor in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. An allegory is a story with two meanings: literal and symbolic.

The five Allegories featured here come from the Autobiography of G.K.Chesterton who believed that when young we see the world for what it really is, and then gradually become absorbed in pretence and make-believe, making reality elusive. He maintained that many of our memories take on in later life the stuff on allegory, they get thoroughly transformed and veil our original childhood visions.

We've all played the association game when a word is given to us to which we are asked to respond immediately and without deliberation. These allegories are each triggered in this composition by single words, which collectively seem to conjure up whole stories, sets of circumstances or weird chain reactions of thought.

Key, Memory, Adventure, Dream and Impatience are presented as a sequence of short movements for string quartet that contain within them all kinds of emotional and musical references and devices. Some are these are really obvious, others may take time and experiment to uncover.


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Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

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