C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

D0 note (18.35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

F0 note (21.83 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

G0 note (24.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

A0 note (27.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

Bolens, Nicolas: Tempus Fugit 



Basic information

  • Title: 
    Tempus Fugit
  • Subtitle: 
    second String Quartett
  • Composer: 
  • Duration (in minutes): 
  • Year of composition: 
  • First performance (year): 
  • First performance (venue): 
    International Geneva competition
  • First performance (performers): 
    by all candidates
  • Publisher: 


  • Program notes: 

    In its form, Tempus Fugit is based on the ideal of an organic evolution, which from a single simple element tends to a complex world.

    A basic movement starts off the piece: a quasi-motionless alternation between two notes, focused on itself and almost motionless. The cello first introduces the movement, which is then taken up by each of the other instruments, in line with the unchanging principle of a canon. As the elements build up, the musicians’ execution becomes gradually more complex and leads to a progressively far more dense counterpoint. A state of saturation is reached at the climax of the piece.

    The second part is characterized by a radical change, as it doesn’t make any reference to a melodic movement. The focus is on the inner sounds. Various relationships are woven between resonating open strings, the vibrato of expressive notes, and floating tones of natural harmonics.

    Both stages of the piece, although very different, embody different sides of one same item. The two languages merge in the coda, which takes on the melodic movement of the first part, while at the same time inserting playing techniques that musicians used in the second section, with the strings played with less and less pressure, so as finally only harmonics are to be heard.

    The quartet ends with a cloud of scattered notes; these are connected to a rhythmical motion, which has remained constant from the beginning of the piece.



Total number of musicians: 
Musicians1st player2nd player



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