[Morton Feldman Page] [Feldman: Homages]

David Toub: mf (2004)
for string quartet

mf was developed at the suggestion of the violinist Christina Fong, who wanted a piece for string quartet for an upcoming CD of works relating to Morton Feldman. I actually composed a new work for string quartet for this purpose (five notes for christina fong), but Christina indicated a preference for some of my faster compositions, and thought to adapt something else for her. In this case, I turned to the third movement of Brass Piece for Arielle Victoria, which I wrote for my daughter several years ago and is pretty fast. In arranging it for string quartet, it is nearly identical to the original music, except that some octave changes had to be made to accommodate the cello.

I had originally titled it third movement for mf and used a mezzo piano dynamic throughout. Christina suggested I call it simply mf and up the volume to mezzo forte. I liked the idea, especially since it is a triple-entendre (mf being the initials of Morton Feldman, the dynamic level, and a shortened form of an epithet that needs not be repeated here). As much as I like the original version for three trumpets, two bass trombones and tuba, I also think it works pretty well for string quartet.

David Toub