The Ruby Sunrise

for string quartet (2009, rev. 2021)

Score and Parts

by Chris Cresswell


SKU: CC-CM004 Category: Tags: , , ,



Society for New Music All-Stars
Cazenovia Counterpoint 2021
First Presbyterian Church


10 min


WP: 4/30/2011, Syracuse, NY



Program Notes

The Ruby Sunrise, derives its title from a poem by the 13th century mystic, Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, The Sunrise Ruby. In that poem, a lover, barely awake, asks her beloved “Do you love me or yourself more? Really, tell the absolute truth?” The beloved responds, “There is nothing left of me. I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise. Is it still a stone, or a world of redness? It has no resistance to the sunlight.” This work tells that story. The beginning starts with the motivic material fragmented across the ensemble. As the work progresses we hear the melody in the viola, in pairs, and eventually in canon throughout the entire ensemble. Once the ensemble has been consumed by the material, it returns to the quiet calm of the beginning. This work was originally written in 2009 and was slightly revised in 2021.