Commissioned by the Primrose Piano Quartet with funding from the Scottish Arts Council, Mr and Mrs J A Pye's Charitable Settlement, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and the Hope-Scott Trust.

  • 20 min

Programme Note

The Piano Quartet was written in December 2007 for the Primrose Quartet, and is dedicated to Tam McPhail, in memory of his wife, Gunnie Moberg.

Gunnie was Swedish, but settled with Tam and their four sons in Orkney, from which base she became internationally known as an artist and photographer, as well as being a close friend, and an inspiration in my own work.

In this Quartet I have attempted to embrace as many of Gunnie’s character traits and influences as I could, including her very Scandinavian rigour, her Scottish humour, and even her love of the Faroe Islands. It is plainsong based, with an eightfold magic square.

1. Entrance and Jig
2. Slow Air
3. Føroya Kvædi (Lullabye from Faroe)
4. Rebus Runarum
5. Hortus Conclusus
6. Tantum Ergo Sacramentum

The first three movements are played without a break, as are the last two.

(c) Peter Maxwell Davies


Piano Quartet: I. Entrance and Jig
Piano Quartet: II. Slow Air
Piano Quartet: III. Føroya Kvædi - Lullavye from Faroe
Piano Quartet: IV. Rebus Runarum
Piano Quartet: V. Hortus Conclusus
Piano Quartet: VI. Tantum Ergo Sacramentum


Sample Pages