I have written 6 string quartets in my long career as a composer. “Silent Earth” is my fifth.
Some of them, such as this one, concern political and social topics and the problems that humanity is facing.
Although the dystopian movement titles, Silent Earth, Supplica and The Last Harvest, may sound pessimistic, the music is not. The final movement is a sprightly dance, and Supplica, written in a neo-romantic style, is pure love. This middle movement appropriately quotes the first 4 notes from Alban Berg’s Wozzeck (Marie’s prayer at the beginning of Act III) “Es ist kein Betrug in seinem Munde erfunden worden” which means “And out of his mouth there came forth neither deceit nor falsehood.”
I want to thank the members of Axiom Quartet for their dedicated performance and PARMA Recordings for making this possible and available to a large audience.
Sergio Cervetti, a Uruguayan-born American composer, came to the United States in 1962 to study composition. By 1966 he attracted international attention by winning the chamber music prize at the Caracas Venezuela Music Festival. After graduating from the Peabody Conservatory in 1967, where he studied with Ernst Krenek and Stefan Grové, he was invited by the DAAD to be a composer-in-residence in Berlin, Germany in 1969-70. From 1972-97 and 2007-08 Cervetti was Professor of Music at New York University / Tisch School of the Arts.
With a distinguished career and extensive body of work, Cervetti remains invested in composition as an intimate medium of communication, and gives each piece a complex, personal voice. He has composed over 150 works for orchestra, chamber music, song cycles, choral, solo instruments, and opera that range from acoustic to electronic music. They represent a post-modern synthesis of European tradition, folk elements, and minimalist aesthetics, and reflect his interest in literature, painting, dance, and socio-political topics as well as his rich South American heritage. Contributions to the early minimalist movement, available on Navona Records, are Guitar Music (the bottom of the iceberg), …from the earth…, Concerto for Trumpet, Strings and Timpani, and Candombe for Harpsichord. Three Next Wave Festivals at the Brooklyn Academy of Music featured his collaborations with New York City’s dance world. The Alicante Festival in Spain commissioned the harpsichord concerto Las Indias Olvidadas to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America. The opera Elegy For A Prince was premiered in several excerpted concert scenes by New York City Opera/VOX 2007, followed by a similar performance in 2020 by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) at Carnegie Hall. Other highlights include two tours in Spain with the National Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE), and sections of The Hay Wain, an electroacoustic tone-poem, are heard in Oliver Stone’s film Natural Born Killers. The Navona album PARALLEL REALMS – XXI CENTURY WORKS FOR ORCHESTRA was Global Music Awards’ Gold Medal Winner in 2019.
MORTAL DREAMS: FOUR VOCAL WORKS is the ninth all-Cervetti Navona album produced by PARMA Recordings. NAZCA and other Works was the first to be released in 2012 followed by KEYBOARD3: Works for Piano, Harpsichord and Organ, WIND DEVIL & CO.: DanceElectronics, UNBRIDLED: Chamber Works, TRANSITS: Minimal to Mayhem, SUNSET AT NOON: Six Works in Memory Of, TRIPTYCH REVELATION, PARALLEL REALMS: XXI Century Works for Orchestra.