Manuscript Cover

String Quartet No.1 in A Minor

Camden Music (CM155) - 1997

This quartet was written in the spring of 1995, recorded by The Eberle Quartet in 1997, and reflects something of my interest in Celtic poetry. While not overtly programmatic, an echo of the powerful nostalgia that is such a potent characteristic of Celtic verse may be detected in the music. There are three movements - the outer fairly spirited and the central largo essentially broad and reflective.

The first movement - Allegretto ed Inquieto - is in sonata form, with the cantabile second subject acting as an expressive foil to the thrusting impetus of the initial theme, the passionate gestures held in check by a terse formal outline.

The second movement has a straightforward ternary shape - the meditative opening section succeeded by a faster, puckish episode and a concluding phase where these contrasting ideas alternate to dramatic effect. The final movement embraces elements of Rondo and Variation form, presenting a folk-like theme in various guises, one moment serenely lyrical, the next ominously pizzicato, and so forth. However, ideas from the first movement inexorably make their presence felt, investing the music with an insistently anguished character. The work ends enigmatically on a bare desolate fifth. Purchase here.