The early death from complications of HIV/AIDS of the artist, Brian Buczak was the spur for Glass’s String Quartet No 4, ‘Buczak’. Together with the quartet’s commissioner, Geoffrey Hendricks, Buczak had established the Money for Food Press
, initially as a vehicle to further their art practises. The MfFP
traced its roots back to the New York based early multi-media experiments of the Fluxusart movement of the 1960s—and one of Hendricks’ early ‘Cloud’ images was appropriated for John Lennon’s Imagine album. Written for a memorial concert for Buczak in 1989, Glass wanted his fourth quartet to represent, ‘a musical impression of [Buczak] as a person as well as a tribute to his life’s work.’ The quartet opens with a broad, almost Schubertian sweep before the composer’s familiar pulse gently introduces itself. Touches of Schubert and Beethoven pervade the quartet while Glass produces an astringent lyrical beauty, most notably in the second movement, that well befits a heartfelt memorial.
from notes by Signum Classics © 2007