Engaño – The Board Meeting



As far as I’m aware, this is like nothing that has ever been written for a viola quartet before.

To best explain it, here is what is written inside the title page:

Picture a board meeting of, say, a large and successful corporation. We have four people who have had to take time out from their pressing responsibilities to attend this monthly meeting. I’d really like to say they all get on well together, and that they actually admire and respect each other both professionally and as individuals. But alas that is not really the way things work here in this hugely competitive environment. The best one can say is that they tolerate each other. But, to be honest, it tends to be an atmosphere that engenders very little in the way of mutual respect.

1st Violist is the Chairperson
2nd Violist is the Vice-Chairperson
3rd Violist is the Treasurer
4th Violist is the Executive Director

You’ll see how the four protagonists act and re-act through their music. One player may perform a little speech followed by a reaction from the others. And then another will have their say, and so on. But after a while they can no longer endure listening to all this waffle (as they each perceive it to be) without interrupting, and things get heated and confrontational. The atmosphere becomes sullen, they start looking wistfully at their expensive wrist watches.You get the idea. However, they realize that they eventually have to bring things to some sort of conclusion, at least for now. And then they can go their separate ways knowing that they won’t have to do this again – until next month. So, as well as playing (literally) their roles in the meeting, the four Violists have a few words to insert within the music (not included on the sound file), just to give the listener an idea of some narrative. But there are many gaps in the text so you cannot really grasp what is actually going on. It’s very frustrating for you both as a listener and observer. So to help you along, the text is written in your program. Now all you have to do is fill in the gaps yourself. And you can do this in any way you like. Just let your imagination take over. Then you might like to share your interpretation of the little Boardroom drama with the four Violists.

You will see that the two outer sections follow a repeating 5-bar pattern: 8/8, 8/8, 4/8, 5/8, 5/8. The 8/8 bars are always grouped 3+3+2, and the 5/8 bars are 3+2. Where you see a pause it usually  indicates someone is speaking. If a note is in brackets the pitch is approximate. I hope that helps. 4 mins M/A

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