Four Rivers

  • Initiative type: Composition
  • Status: premiered
  • Genre: string quartet
  • Artists: Peachtree String Quartet
  • Premiere date: Sunday, October 4, 2015
  • Funding: via Fractured Atlas (fiscal sponsor)
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Four Rivers for string quartet takes its inspiration from four north Georgia rivers: the Toccoa, Etowah, Tallulah and Chattahoochee. Each belongs to a distinct watershed, their respective waters ultimately reaching the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean without ever merging with those of the other three along the way.

I recently visited of each of these rivers at various points in their courses: The Toccoa River at both where it exits the Blue Ridge reservoir and at McCaysville where it enters Tennessee and changes name; the Etowah River just behind the Indian mounds and other crossings upstream of these, eastward toward its headwaters close to Dahlonega; the Tallulah both at the famous Tallulah Gorge and upstream toward Lake Burton; the Chattahoochee at the place where Sidney Lanier wrote "Song of the Chattahoochee" just north of Helen as well as other points up and downstream.

While not programmatic "pictures" of these rivers, impressions of each serve as points of departure for the rivers' respective movement. Taken together as markers representing North Georgia's watersheds, they conceptually unify the entire 12-minute work.

—Mark Gresham

Toccoa River at McCaysville:

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