String Octet (double string quartet): 
Kabah by Peter Ware

"An exotically evocative piece, describing the atmosphere and spirit of the place with eerie harmonics, long-held notes and often sparse harmonies conveying a sense of vast emptiness and antiquity."  -The Washington Post

"The CCM Contemporary Music Ensemble brings experience and understanding to its telling performances of compositions by Gerhard Samuel, Richard Jordan Smoot, and Peter Ware.  
This is a fine disc, one that repays close and repeated hearings."  -American Record Guide

"Peter Ware's 'Kabah' begins with a haunting, almost eerie prestissimo appassionato accented by sweeping strings and a bed of low notes under a single hanging violin line, creating a sense of awe and mystery. In the andante con mosso, low note clusters are again used to create that sense of weight, the weight of years.  Maybe it's just the unsettling nature of the arrangement that makes presto con brio convey such a sinister feel."  -The North Jersey Herald & New

"Kabah, inspired by a Mayan ruin in Mexico's Yucatan peninsular, is a forceful and intense piece that yields little to the narrative style." -Tim Panting, Classical Guitar Magazine

Click for Free string octet MP3 of Peter Ware's Kabah 1st movment from the CD Impossible Dream
Free string octet MP3 excerpt of Peter Ware's Kabah 2nd movement

Free string octet MP3 excerpt of Peter Ware's Kabah 3rd movement
Click for
Kabah string octet Score Excerpt in Adobe Acrobat (489K)  

  String Octet Vln (4), Vla (2), Vlc. (2)  35'  Peter Ware

KABAH was commissioned for the Pan American Games, Festival of the Arts with a Canada Council Grant and premiered on June 28, 1987 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in a special Gala Concert. Inspired by Indian mysticism, the work is named after a Mayan ruin in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. In Kabah, Ware climbs inside his source creating an organic rather than narrative musical style. Expressionistic with driving rhythm and intense dissonance, it evolves through long-breathed melodies, spun out almost endlessly in a free-flowing contrapuntal texture. The musical structures develop naturally from motivic cells that seem to grow and mutate in an evolutionary sense. Fascinating in its defiance of rational analysis, the music emerges from a primitive sense and communicates directly with the listener on a purely spiritual level. For this reason, its meaning can be interpreted and understood emotionally, but the message is encoded outside the realm of language.  The work is recorded on the Acoma CD Impossible Dream GXD5733
55 p.  Score AE918s $55.98,  Score & Parts  AE918  $157.98
Kabah Score Excerpt (489K)

Instrumentation: 4 violins, 2 viola and 2 cellos Duration: 35 minutes 
ISBN 1-55189-085-2 

It is recommended that the two quartets sit in a semi-circle in the following order: 
Vln 1, Vln 2, Vln 3, Vln 4, Va 2, Va 1, Vc. 2, Vc. 1