String Quartet No.1 (2001)

Part of the booklet-text: I worked on my First String Quartet during a stay in Corbella, in the Onsernone Valley region of Ticino in Switzerland. The villages in that primeval valley fairly burst with life in the summer, but they make a peculiarly abandoned impression once the season is over. Then the shutters are all closed, and one hardly encounters a soul in the narrow lanes. It was in that quiet, mysterious atmosphere and in an occasionally somewhat melancholy mood that I wrote the first two movements in the autumn of 1998. To some extent, the third movement was an interpolation. The little piece came to me a year later in Sweden, while I was taking a break from working on my Cello Concerto by extemporizing at the piano. I thought it would briefly brighten up the work and fit in well after the two rather dark movements and before the rhythmically dramatic fourth movement, so I arranged it for string quartet. The fourth movement uses the rhythm of the bulerías, a flamenco dance form in 12/8 time. I got to know flamenco music and dance when I was young and have been fascinated by their expressiveness ever since. Later I even took lessons in flamenco dancing myself for some years, but finally had to admit that the undertaking was destined to fail, for I do not have the necessary fire in my blood. The fascination the music holds for me has never abated, however, and I long toyed with the idea of one day composing something a little along the lines of flamenco music. That was how the fourth movement came into being in the Onsernone Valley in the late summer of 1999. I attempted to maintain the bulerías rhythm throughout the piece as far as possible, secretly hoping that the movement might even turn out to be danceable. I created another version of the movement in 2003 by arranging it for a large symphony orchestra. Just at the time when I wanted to begin work on the string quartet in 1998, the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet asked me to write a piece for them. The work was thus conceived in two versions from the very beginning. The version for saxophones was premiered by the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet at the Tonhalle in Zurich in the summer of 2000, but the string version was not heard for another four years. The Sarastro Quartet premiered it during the Swiss Chamber Music Festival at Lenzburg Castle in the spring of 2004.


I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante
III. Intermezzo
IV. Finale: Tempo di Bulerias


Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Violoncello


about 18 minutes


Complete work




Petersen Quartett

Capriccio - 67 106 (P 2004)

World Premiere

25th of April 2004, Sarastro Quartett, Schweizer Kammermusiktage (Schloss Lenzburg)


May 02nd, 2011
07:00 pm - Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne (HEMU), Grande Salle, Rue de la Grotte 2, 1003 Lausanne
Société de Musique Contemporaine Lausanne

ERIC GAUDIBERT (*1936): Quatuor à cordes no 2 «rien, il n`y a rien de plus beau» (2006),
FABIAN MÜLLER (*1964): Quatuor à cordes no 1 (2001),
LUDOVIC THIRVAUDEY (*1980): Quatuor à cordes «...des racines, buvant les cieux.» (2011) - Création mondiale

Byron Quartet, Wendy Ghysels, Violin, Francis James, Violin, Robin Lemmel, Viola, Coralie Devars, Violoncello

September 26th, 2008
08:15 pm - Bischofshof, Basel

W. A. Mozart Stringquartet, d-minor KV 421
Fabian Müller Stringquartet
D. Schostakowitsch Pianoquintett op. 57, g-Moll, Fumiko Shiraga (piano)

Nathan Quartet, Hamburg

November 29th, 2007 - Kulturhaus Helferei Grossmünster, Zürich, 12:00

Works by Robert Schumann and Fabian Müller. Supported by the «RAHN-Kulturfonds»

«The European String Quartet» Thomas Garcia, violin Vladimir Krasnov, violin Paul Westermayer, viola Benjamin Nyffenegger, violoncello

August 27th, 2007 - Rosario (Mozarteum Argentino), Argentinien

Sarastro Quartett

August 25th, 2007 - La Plata (Teatro Argentino), Argentinien

Sarastro Quartett

August 23rd, 2007 - Bahía Blanca, Argentinien

Sarastro Quartett

August 22nd, 2007 - Buenos Aires Mittagskonzert (Mozarteum Argentino)

Sarastro Quartett

August 18th, 2007 - Neuquén (Mozarteum Argentino), Argentinien

Sarastro Quartett

August 15th, 2007 - Buenos Aires, (Festival Encuentros), Argentinien

Sarastro Quartett

August 09th, 2007
07:00 pm - Feierabendkonzert, Lavatersaal, St.-Peter-Hofstatt, Zürich

Sarastro Quartett

July 01st, 2007 - Jerusalem

International Chamber Music Festival «Sounding Jerusalem»

European String Quartet

April 25th, 2004
05:30 pm - Schloss Lenzburg, grosser Rittersaal, Schweiz


Sarastro Quartett