String Quartet No.6


string quartet
String Quartet
Commissioned by the Little Missenden Festival funded jointly by thefriends of the Festival and the Buckinghamshire ArtsAssociation
First Performance
19.10.91, Little Missenden Festival: Brindisi String Quartet

Study score 0-571-51738-2 and parts 0-571-55516-0 (fp) on sale

Programme Notes

String Quartet No 6

1. Allegro moderato e flessibile

2. Adagio

3. Allegro energico


When a friend of mine, the art critic Peter fuller, was killed in a car accident in April 1990, I composed a short piece for string quartet which was later played at his memorial service. This piece forms the basis of the central slow movement of the present Quartet. The original piece survives more or less intact, but I enclosed it within a rhetorical frame, and at two points I introduced new developmental material. The outer movements both derive their thematic material from the slow movement. Both are in sonata form. Much of the first movement is contemplative in character, though its second subject is a fierce chordal passage. In the last movement the main contrast is between the energy of the opening and the overt lyricism of the second group. The development precipitates a crisis, where a theme from the slow movement returns, high on the cello. The ending is, I hope, a reaffirmation of vitality. The Quartet was commissioned by the Little Missenden Festival, funded jointly by the Friends of the Festival and the Buckinghamshire Arts Association.

© David Matthews

Licensing Information

News & Reviews

'String Quartet No 6' reviews

'Two fast movements, the first quite sparse in texture, the last vibrant and optimistic, surround a slow movement in which an unashamedly tonal elegy in memory of the art critic Peter Fuller alternates with more chromatic music of great emotional intensity. A work which deserves to enter the repertoire' Tempo (Antony Bye), December 1991 Read more

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