The Grand Delusion

string quartet (1988) 25′ (12’/13′)

published by Sweet Child Music

  • composers’ Forum New Music/New Composers Award, 1989
  • selected for Artsweek ’92, University of Colorado at Boulder

“Paul Siskind’s Delusions of Grandeur had a lively drama and freshness.”

John Rockwell, New York Times, 3/10/89

“… [an] imaginative, skillfully crafted score that left one asking for more.”

Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine, 3/27/89

“…a tautly arranged panorama of highly effective string gestures….”

Kyle Gann, The Village Voice, 4/4/89

“…showed considerable compositional craft, not least in the fugue at the end of the second part.”

Michael Fleming, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 5/22/90

This diptych explores the exaggeration of musical affect and expression. Quickly-changing moods, densities, textures, dynamics, registers, and coloristic effects are used to create a variegated, unsettling atmosphere, which at times treads dangerously close to the border between an ultra-heightened sense of drama and empty bombast. The word-play of the titles reflects the inversional formal and motivic relationships between the movements. While the work is not overtly programmatic, it is, to a degree, a reflection upon attitudes that a composer might have about the process of composition.

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