• Richard Rodney Bennett
  • Music for String Quartet (1981)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned as a test piece for the City of Portsmouth International String Quartet Competition

  • String Quartet
  • 9 min

Programme Note

Richard Rodney Bennett was born in Broadstairs in 1936, and he now lives in New York. He studied composition with Lennox Berkeley at the Royal Academy of Music, and then with Pierre Boulez in Paris. He has achieved a distinguished reputation as composer and teacher, and the broad base of the influences he has absorbed has helped make him an especially successful composer of the film music.

The Music for String Quartet, completed in the summer of 1981, was commissioned by the City of Portsmouth International String Quartet Competition, and follows several other works for this combination of instruments. The piece takes a little under ten minutes in performance, and consists of several different sections, each designed to emphasise different aspects of quartet playing. The contrasts are built on an alternation between Vivo and Arioso, but in the later stages the marking Scherzando appears, adding another dimension to this expressive work.

Terry Barfoot
City of Portsmouth International String Quartet Competition