Long Shadow (1998) for three violins, viola, two cellos and double bass,
or two violins, viola, cello and double bass,
or string quartet.
First performance: Reykjavik 2002, Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra.
Like Tómasson´s Rhyme, Long Shadow is based on material from Icelandic folksongs. The composer refers to it as a “set of variations” in six movements on motives from Icelandic folk songs. The originals melodies are never heard; instead of harmonizing them in their entirety Tómasson takes a small element from each folk songs and turns this into a kind of prime idea for a whole movement. Typical for Tómasson´s music is how the form of the entire piece is reflected in fits six individual movements, each of which is divided into six parts. This is a fascinating and evocative work which vividly demonstrates the sonic qualities of each of the three available instrumental groupings.
“Filled with wonderful moments, such as the uncouth dance of the trolls in the 2nd movement and its strongest contrast, the haunting and fairy-like con sordino passages in the 4th movement. Morgunblaðið (Iceland), February 2002.
“… especially beautiful and transparent sounds contrasted with chaotic ostinatos… a startlingly beautiful work.” Morgunblaðið (Iceland), February 2003.
Original version: Smekkleysa SMK90 Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra.
String quartet version: Smekkleysa SMK65 (Bad Taste Records) Ethos String Quartet.
Listen to excerpt: