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The Presto is light and kittenish, perhaps having something of the wit of a Mendelssohn scherzo, thirds and fourths being repeated in a very rapid succession in the opening violin solo. It is abruptly shortened by the Adagio, a more extended movement consisting of broadly flowing, solemn counterpoint. The intensity that the composer achieves in this section is highly impressive, all the more so considering only three instruments are being used. The Fugue, marked 'Volante' (flying), is the most substantial section of the Trio, beginning delicately on muted strings. After a sudden crescendo the Prelude's main theme returns angrily on violin, 'presumably out of resentment at having been truncated so early', as the composer has suggested, and a fearsome conflict ensues as themes from both movements fight it out. The work concludes in a torrent of explosive energy as thirds and fourths are forcefully reiterated on violin and viola above a gruff motive on cello and a final succession of 'flying' scales.
from notes by Matthew Taylor © 1990
|Simpson: String Quartets Nos 3 & 6 and String Trio|
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