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The Clarinet Quintet which opens this disc is one of Simpson's most compelling works. Its expansive feel owes much to the models of Brahms and Mozart, yet Simpson creates an inimitable score which closes in ethereal beauty.
String Quartet No 13 is the most compact of Simpson's later works in the genre. Playing without a break, its four movements follow fast-slow-fast-slow pattern requiring great intensity from all four players.
The Second Quintet is Simpson's last composition to date. It is severe in character, containing some of the composer's toughest contrapuntal writing in the Allegro sections (which alternate with the calmer Moderato). The close is particularly gloomy.