String Quartet 1 4+ 6+ 9+

I have finished writing my first (?) string quartet. It has taken me 6 months on and off and lasts about seven and a half minutes!

This rendition is through Note performer. Far from ideal, but so much better than the native Sibelius sounds set!

It’s written in one movement and is based on the “Tristan” chord, hence the title. Interestingly the year that spells is the year when Valladolid, my ‘home town’ in Spain really came to prominence (retrospectively) in that Isabel I of Castille and Fernando II of Aragon were married in a palace in the city, ushering in a royal political partnership that had global implications for several hundred years, and, arguably, continues to influence the Spanish psyche in some ways to this day. Catholicism (and the Inquisition’s legacy), relations with the North Africans, one-nation hispanicism under Castilian overlordship.

This was all going through my mind when I was conceiving and sketching this work. Also I had been introduced to the Tristan Chord by my teacher and wanted to build something around that. That chord, its derivations and its non-augmented cousin, pervade the work, and can be found in almost every bar written. The harmonies are therefore harsh at times, but at times beautiful. Rhythms also relate to the chord and its intervals.

I will be taking the piece to my teacher . . . so expect revisions. Even he is not convinced about it yet…


Here is the score

String Quartet (o) – Full Score


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