Program notes

Descent of Mont Ventoux for string quartet (2019)

Descent of Mont Ventoux  was commissioned by the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Kathryn Stott – Artistic Director, for the 25th anniversary of the Goldner String Quartet. The work was commissioned to be a part of a suite of new Australia compositions connected to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, from his 9th Symphony.

If, as suggested by some scholars, the modern era began on the day in 1336 when Petrarch first climbed Mont Ventoux – because ‘it was there’ and the view was potentially good – then it may also be argued that the modern era reached its own summit in 1824 with Beethoven’s setting of Schiller’s Ode to Joy with its exaltation of individuality and pleasure. It’s been downhill ever since; indeed, most mountaineering accidents happen on the descent.

© Andrew Schultz, 2019