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

String Quartet No.6

St. Andrew's Church (Hertford, United Kingdom)

Maggini Quartet

String Quartet No.6

WP of Sospiri

Worcester Guildhall (Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom)

Zoë Beyers and Friends

String Quartet No.6

Church of St Mary Magdalene, Bleddfa (Knighton, United Kingdom)

The Nightingale Quartet

String Quartet No.6

Wilton's Music Hall (London, United Kingdom)

Kreutzer Quartet

String Quartet No.6

Butterworth Hall, University of Warwick (Coventry, West Midlands, United Kingdom)

Coull Quartet