Richard Ayres’ Three Small Pieces for String Quartet each have distinct characters that illustrate the composer’s vivid imagination and skill for combining energetic, touching and sometimes wild music. The first piece is a short tribute to the Romanian singer Maria Tanase, a long forgotten performer who was once a star in her country. The second is a rough, fast and folk-like section in 11/16 time and the third, subtitled “Countess Eva von Spendu (on a horse) gallops through the forest (pausing four times to contemplate natural splendour)”, contains (in the words of the composer) “hunting gallops, a Feldmanesque 19 bar blues, some devilish fiddling, moments of repose and contemplation, and a lyrical finale.”
III. "Countess Eva von Spendu (on a horse) gallops through the forest (fausing four times to contemplate natural splendor)"