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It has long been an ambition and challenge to write a string quartet and there have been many aborted and discarded attempts! In 2020 I set about the task in earnest. It is dedicated to my wife, Deborah, an extremely musical musician, who has constantly supported my musical aspirations over the years! A short Introduction pays tribute to her by name, extending the musical alphabet so that Deborah is translated into the notes D-E-B-G-B-A-Bb. The ensuing Allegro is based on some passages from Fragments, an oboe quartet originally composed in 1999. The movement is propelled by its rhythmic energy, though there are moments of repose. The second movement features a fairly angular ‘bell-like’ motif in the violins and viola, under which the cello plays an extended melody line. Providing a complete contrast to the previous movement, the third movement is jaunty – a ray of sunshine! The Finale maintains the bright optimism of the third movement. The work ends with a fairly breathless, rhythmically driven coda.
Stephen Binnington May 2022