Two Salon Pieces, for string quartet

Two Salon Pieces

  1. Expectation. A major. Tempo di Valse
  2. Determination. A minor. Tempo di Mazurka

Genre pieces for string quartet (2 violins, viola, cello) in character of waltz and mazurka dances

Date of composing October 2014; March 2016 – revised

Style Neo-Romantic

Duration [2’00”], [1’57”]

Level of difficulty beginner to intermediate; intermediate to advanced

Copyright © 2014-2016 Natalia Pispini


Here is my first attempt to compose miniatures for string quartet, with classical approach to musical form and texture, and touches of Neo-Romantic emotionalism on the level of harmony and tonalities. Both pieces display an airy and capricious character; both are connected with the dance meters / rhythmic patterns. Maybe, these things have eventually brought me to the title ‘Salon Pieces’. Both are composed in a simple ternary musical form ABA1. The texture is basically homophonic (melody or ‘thickened’ melody vs. harmonic support) and enriched by flashes of ‘spicy’ chromatic notes. The bowing technique is specified if necessary.

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Determination, for string quartet

From ‘Two Salon Pieces, for string quartet’

Date of composing March 2016

Genre a piece for string quartet (2 violins, viola, cello) in character of mazurka

Style Neo-Romantic

Duration [1’57”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyright © 2016 Natalia Pispini


In A minor, Tempo di Mazurka. Lyrical and dramatic mood is prevailing here, with mazurka meter of ¾ and the rhythmic patterns typical for this dance. The ternary form ABA1 has shortened B section. The almost relentless tempo, the predominance of minor tonalities and the ‘insisting’ repeated figure at the cello part – all these features serve the named character of ‘determination’. But the chromatic details reveal anxious and unstable property in the whole.

Performance notes

The performance of this piece requires basic level of virtuosity. Besides dramatic development within the piece, it is expected to be played in relatively light and elegant sound. Holding strictly the tempo and following precisely the rhythmic patterns are essential for the musical image.

Look at the score sample

Listen to the midi rendering

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