- Randall Thompson (18991984) [after Kenneth Grahame]
The Wind in the Willows
n.i., n.p., ca. 1925, none; 15 leaves folded, , , Very Good /
after Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows 15 black line print (diazotype) leaves [22? x 11³??? inches], folded in half to form four parts (I Violin, 16 pp.; II Violin , 27; Viola , 27; Violoncello , 26, ). The parts are in very good condition, with little discoloration or soiling. A couple of creases, signs of paper clip rust. Randall Thompson is probably best-known among choristers. His "Alleluia" for a cappella chorus has extraordinary popularity and is performed often. Unlike Handel's Hallelujah, Thompson's is quiet and expansive, evoking solemn contemplation. "The Wind in the Willows" for string quartet was composed in the second year of Thompson's residence at the American Academy in Rome. The three movements were written in February and March and the quartet was premiered by the Quartetto Veneziano on March 15, 1925. The string quartet is complete in three movements: I = River bank, 2 = Toad, Esq., 3 = The Wild Wood. In notes for a performance at the Boston Public Library by the Musical Arts Quartet, Thompson said of "River Bank," "the River was their God and its banks of reeds and willows whispered and made music for them." Mr. Toad was described as "an irrepressible poetizer." In the third movement Moley gets lost in the woods and Ratty finds him. They find a hole in the woods and sleep, dreaming of the summer, reeds and willows by the river, as it snows in the woods above. The Wind and the Willows quartet enjoyed some popularity from 1927 to 1941. It was performed by at least eight different string quartets. The Wind in the Willows quartet was never published, and because Thompson's two subsequent string quartets, the first a commission by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, were published, this early quartet began to slip into oblivion until score and parts were published in 2017 by ECS Publishing. The score and the parts for the original performance in Rome are lost. Sketches for the quartet may be found in Thompson's Nachlass at Harvard University Houghton Library. Sketches for Mvt. 2 were damaged when Thompson left them in the rain. In a copyist's hand, manuscript parts are at the Library of Congress. "This day was only the first of many similar ones for the emancipated Mole, each of them longer and full of interest as the ripening summer moved onward. He learnt to swim and to row, and entered into the joy of running water; and with his ear to the reed-stems he caught, at intervals, something of what the wind went whispering so constantly among them.from The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame, Chapter I. The River Bank.