String Quartet No. 4

by Aulis Sallinen

Quiet Songs

Hiljaisia lauluja

Empty sheet

Aulis Sallinen

String Quartet No. 4

Fennica Gehrman


The String Quartet No. 4 was written in 1971 to a commission from the Jyväskylä Arts Festival. Only a year earlier Sallinen had completed his String Quartet No. 3 which is not only one of his most frequently played works but also one of the most popular works in the entire modern Finnish chamber repertoire. Both quartets are one-movement works lasting about fifteen minutes.

The Fourth Quartet could be described as a slowly-changing, flat tonal landscape whose horizon is broken by two clearly-defined distinguishable patches of higher ground in the shape of two short fast sections. The basic musical elements are the passages in unison and the eight-part texture that develops gradually out of them.

The subtitle Quiet Songs refers to the other basic element of the piece: the music should sound as if it is coming from far away, from a twilight world ‘behind a curtain’. The loudest dynamic marking is mezzoforte.

[writer unknown] 1971


2vln, vla, vlc


Chamber Works

Opus no.

op. 25


Suhonen Quartet (Okko Kamu, violin I, Ari Angervo, violin II, Ylermi Poijärvi, viola, Risto Fredrikson, cello), Jyväskylä Arts Festival, July 4, 1971

Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by Jyväskylä Arts Festival

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