Hyperion Records

String Quartet No 13
composer
1989

Recordings
'Simpson: String Quartet No 13 & String Quintet No 2' (CDA66905)
Simpson: String Quartet No 13 & String Quintet No 2
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Details
Movement 1: Allegro molto
Track 8 on CDA66905 [4'17] Archive Service
Movement 2: Andante
Track 9 on CDA66905 [5'37] Archive Service
Movement 3: Vivace
Track 10 on CDA66905 [5'02] Archive Service
Movement 4: Andante
Track 11 on CDA66905 [3'05] Archive Service

String Quartet No 13
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The Thirteenth Quartet was commissioned by the Cardiff Festival, and completed in December 1989. The first performance was given the following year by The Delmé Quartet, who have enjoyed a close relationship with Simpson Quartets for many years. The work is dedicated to Graham and Alex Melville-Mason.

No 13 is the most compact of Simpson’s later Quartets. There are four short movements which play without a break and adopt a fast–slow–fast–slow pattern. A bold, leaping figure on first violin outlining the notes of the triad sets the Quartet into motion. Though concise, this highly athletic Allegro instantly creates a vigorous current through closely imitative writing and (latterly) through the introduction of pattering triplet configurations. The following Andante is again largely contrapuntal in design, opening with a meditative violin melody, against a sustained low C on the cello. There is one brief climax which quickly subsides to reveal the Vivace, a kind of duple-time Scherzo full of half-lights and muttering ostinati. This Vivace, the most elaborate of the four movements, becomes more hard-driven as it progresses, culminating in a passage of sustained ferocity, requiring great intensity from the players. But it is bluntly halted, leaving a slow, chorale-like epilogue marked ppp, ma sempre espressivo, which swiftly eases all the former turbulence.

from notes by Matthew Taylor © 1997

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66905 track 8
Allegro molto
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-97-90508
Duration
4'17
Recording date
19 February 1997
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Simpson: String Quartet No 13 & String Quintet No 2 (CDA66905)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: September 1997
    Deletion date: January 2013
    Archive Service
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