String Quartet No.2


string quartet
String Quartet
First Performance
22.2.82, Waterloo Room, London: Medici String Quartet

Facsimile score 0-571-51032-9 and parts 0-571-55508-X (fp) on sale

Programme Notes

My second quartet originated with its slow last movement, Elegy, which I wrote in the spring of 1974 as a memorial piece for a friend who had been killed in the Paris air disaster a few weeks before. Two years later I decided to extend the piece and wrote a first movement and, after a further six month gap, a scherzo. The completed work was revised in the winter of 1979-80. The first movement is a very concise sonata allegro, classical in shape (Beethoven’s X D 95 was a conscious model). The scherzo middle movement is a study in motor rhythms, firmly – I might say obsessively – rooted in the tonality of C. The last movement has a straightforward ABABA form; the B sections (marked Spettrale) are transformations of the broad main melody.

© David Matthews

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News & Reviews

'String Quartet No 2' review

'The modest, eloquent first movement is followed by a savage scherzo whose rhythmic resource makes rock music seem tame' The Daily Telegraph (P.W.D), 23 February 1982 Read more

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