Back in 1999, I was commissioned to write a piano quartet for a now defunct ensemble made up of composer Roger Smalley (in his other role as pianist) and musicians from the West Australian Symphony. Over the years, my single movement quartet, titled Emerald Crossing, found its way into other contexts. An orchestral arrangement I made became a movement of my Fifth Symphony, The Promised Land, and modified versions have been incorporated into two ballet scores. Although the original quartet movement has continued to have plenty of performances, I always felt it would benefit from another, contrasting movement. The members of the Australia Piano Quartet apparently felt the same way, and when they proposed to commission an extension to the piece I welcomed the opportunity.

Ross Edwards Ross Edwards. Photo © Bridget Elliot

Emerald Crossing– I retained the original title for what has become the first movement of my new quartet – surprised me when I was composing it nearly 20 years ago because it seemed to take on a life and direction of its own. I’ve described it as a kind of serene passacagliawith characteristics of a barcarolle, a response...

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