Questions or technical issues? Please email

CCM WebSite


Name of Work

Hartke, Stephen (1952-)
The King of the Sun: Tableaux for violin, viola, cello and piano

I. Personages in the night guided by the phosphorescent tracks of snails
II. Dutch Interior
III. Dancer listening to the organ in a Gothic cathedral
IV. The flames of the sun make the desert flower hysterical
V. Personages and birds rejoicing at the arrival of night


Jun 11, 2007

Joseph Genualdi, Viola
Rami Solomonow, Viola
Clancy Newman, Cello
Kuang-Hao Huang, Piano

HARTKE-The King of the Sun: Tableaux for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano

Composed in 1988

The King of the Sun was composed in 1988 on commission from the Los Angeles Piano Quartet with the assistance of a grant from Chamber Music America. Its individual movements take their titles from paintings by Joan Miró, being musical reflections both on the titles themselves as well as on the arrangement of pictorial elements within. My aim has been to create a work that, like Miró’s painting, is whimsical and serious by turns. The overall title to the work, however, comes from a different source, a late 14th century canon dubiously ascribed to the Flemish composer Johannes Ciconia. The exact solution to the canon has proved elusive, even controversial, but one version published in the 1950s, while audibly incorrect, produces such delightfully spiky collisions between its three parts that I decided to use it as raw compositional material in the second and fourth movements, much as Miró used a painting by the Dutchman Jan Steen as a basis for his “Dutch Interior.”

Program Notes by Stephen Hartke

Performance Date: June 11, 2007

Performance Audio

Play Entire Performance