String Quartet No. 5: Through the Night (2009)

The Emerson String Quartet commissioned String Quartet No. 5: Through the Night and premiered it at the Kölner Philharmonie on March 9th 2010, with further performances in Seattle, Washington DC, Stony Brook, Winston-Salem and Philadelphia.

Combining elements of chaconne, passacaglia and theme-and-variations, the piece takes the Welsh tune “All Through the Night” through a dizzying and dazzling journey from twilight to predawn.

I. Variations
II. Chaconne
III. Passacaglia
IV. Variations

String Quartet No. 5: Through the Night runs approximately twenty-five minutes..


“It’s done with a light touch, a sense of humor and a gift for translating visual images into their aural reflections… Dillon has a huge repertoire of technical tools on his belt, and he uses them liberally but always sensitively and intelligently.”
– Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post

“There is a remarkable variety of affect and character here, with idiomatic quartet writing throughout.”
– James Primosch, Secret Geometry

“The thing that impressed us to no end is his degree of craftsmanship, coupled with a fantastic imagination. He seems to have an unending font of ideas…”
– David Finckel, Emerson String Quartet (PBS interview)

“It would be wonderful to hear this music again, and soon, and often, too – it’s that good, and it’s that complex – although one need not become embroiled in its complexity, for it works as a rock-solid finite musical experience, too.”
– John Lambert, CVNC

“…it all hangs together like a colorful, well designed quilt.”
– Philippa Kiraly, The Gathering Note (Seattle)

“I had the pleasure of hearing a performance by the Emerson String Quartet. As they performed a new composition commissioned by them by Lawrence Dillon, String Quartet No. 5: Through the Night (2009), with its wistful and ethereal passages, I wandered off in thought of markets and how themes can travel back and forth between instruments, sometimes juxtaposed, sometimes counterpoint, sometimes feeding off each other into rising tension, sometimes coalescing together into a single powerful movement or crescendo and capitulation.”
– Chris Tucker, Daily Speculations