Pax impotens

Complete Work Title: 

Pax impotens

Performance Medium: 

string quartet


in two movements



Date Composed: 

March 1989

Additional Information: 
  • Composed as part of the doctoral qualifying examination at Indiana University.
  • Recorded performance presented at Tigertail Productions “New from Abroad” Listening Room, September through December 1991, at the 21st Annual Bienal of São Paulo, Brazil.

Performance/Broadcast History: 
  • 25 October 2001; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

    Igor Borodin, violin I; Danielus Kaplunas, violin II; Susan Dubois, viola; Debbie Brooks, violoncello

  • 26 October 1989; Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) [premiere]

    Jeffrey Howard, violin I; David Volfe, violin II; Stanley Weldy, viola; Robert Peck, violoncello

Program Notes: 

Pax impotens was composed in March of 1989 as one of two documents for the doctoral qualifying examinations at Indiana University. The work was first performed at Indiana University on 26 October 1989.

Acting as a quasi-introduction, the brief first movement is structurally somewhat rhapsodic and is characterized by a gradual refinement of the basic raw materials presented in the opening. The final section contains references to elements within the following movement. By contrast, the second movement is tightly structured, and consists of a solo line that is continuously passed throughout the ensemble, sporadically accompanied by a meandering filigree-like texture in the remaining trio.