Life Remembered, A: Meditation on "Fairest Lord Jesus"

for String Quartet

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The year 2014 was a time of loss for me, as I lost both of his parents within the space of six months. His loss was their gain, as they were both committed Christians, and reside in the bosom of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in eternity. A Life Remembered was written for the funeral service of my father, John Canfield, who died on September 7, 2014. After arranging other matters for his service, I wrote the present work in the space of about 8 hours on September 9th and 10th of 2014. The work heavily draws upon the well-known hymn, "Fairest Lord Jesus," (also utilized in the my tenor saxophone concerto), its use suggesting that although my parents had a busy and fulfilled life (portrayed by the more dramatic moments in this work), their faith in Jesus Christ permeated their life and work, similar to the way the hymn permeates A Life Remembered. I do not, however, consider this a mere arrangement of the hymn, which never appears exactly as written (although it comes close to being quoted towards the end of the piece), but a meditation upon it. The style of the work is quite romantic, given that this style of music was particularly favored by both of my parents. In it, I also sought to include stylistic traits commonly found in my father's music. These include use of the interval of the augmented second, Spanish-sounding figures and rhythms, and a few virtuosic licks in the first violin part, indicative of his father's liking to improvise such as he played violin. The work was premiered on September 11, 2014 with Katie Minion, violin I, David DeBoor Canfield,violin II, Kaitlyn Henry, viola, and Cole Tutino, cello. It was subsequently revised slightly between Dcember 26th and 31st of 2014 in advance of a recording of the work for Enharmonic Records, the ensemble of which substituted Jason Chen on the first violin part.

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