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Persephone is an abstract work for string quartet. While the piece is not programmatic, the title did influence the piece, affecting the mood and the musical material.
Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus in classical Mythology. Hades abducted her and took her back with him to the underworld. As a result, Demeter, the goddess of the Earth, became so upset that plants stopped growing as she searched everywhere for her lost daughter. To stop Earth from dying, Zeus forced Hades to return Persephone. However, Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, which forced her to return to the underworld for a season each year. As a result, for four months each year, Persephone returned to the underworld and the earth became barren.
The piece begins with a number of different musical fragments which are developed and integrated throughout the piece and interspliced with a number of other sections. The conceptual images of moving between two different worlds evoked swirling chromatic semiquaver sections and the sense of viewing the world from another place added to the sense of distortion and fragmentation which is a feature of the work.