The score to Jonathan Harvey's String Quartet No.2

The second of Harvey’s four works for string quartet, this piece was commissioned by the Arditti Quartet and first performed in 1989. Across an unbroken 16-minute span there are a host of moods and textures. Harvey’s music is often jagged but also eerily melodic, with ghostly songs from cello and viola; performers are alternately asked to play ‘hot’ and ‘cold’, and Harvey’s imaginative writing for strings draws on an array of extended techniques, including microtones and circular bowing. “Harvey’s Second Quartet”, Gramophone wrote in 1984, “reminds one how richly eclectic his early music was.”