• Thea Musgrave
  • String Quartet (1958)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the University Court (Glasgow) under the terms of the McEwen Bequest

  • String Quartet
  • 16 min

Programme Note

This work written in 1958, was commissioned by the University of Glasgow under the terms of the McEwen Bequest.

A single theme, heard in the cello at the beginning, gives rise to the main material of the whole work. There are three movements of contrasting character, which explore the many possibilities inherent in this one idea.

In the first movement two versions of the theme are presented in alternating Adagio (expressive and contrapuntal) and Allegro (vigorous and rhythmic) sections.

It is shown in a more light-hearted aspect in the second movement - a scherzo.

The last movement starts with another version of the original Adagio. A new vigorous theme in dotted rhythm is then heard and after various developments it is then combined with the Adagio theme. A final Presto brings the work to an exciting close.


Thea Musgrave