String Quartet No. 3

Instrumentation: String Quartet

Duration: c. 14mins

Completed: 2021


This quartet, despite only being a few minutes longer than my second, is significantly more substantial and ambitious – and deliberately so. I have come to develop a great love of string quartet music over the last 5 years or so – so much so that they are forming the backbone of my PhD. Until this quartet however, I found it difficult to write a longer form, multi-movement work for the group. I was determined to break from that in this quartet. To do this, I created conditions that would allow me to justify the continuation of the work. The most obvious of these is the relationship between Db and C, and the delay of the ultimate resolution to C until the end as the Db constantly wanted to rise to D (acting as C#) rather than the resolution presented in the opening bars.

The work is in 5 movements divided into two sections in the pattern of slow, fast, and slow, fast, slow. The first and last movements are very similar with the central slow movement being more like a short, symphonic adagio than the ethereal outer movements. The two fast movements are both highly fugal with the first a much lighter, sonata form than the relentless, through-composed second.

Parts included in download.