Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

String Quartet No 11


The Eleventh Quartet takes some of its material from its predecessor, but strongly contrasts with that work by treating the material in a more energetic way. Unlike the Tenth Quartet it is turbulent and extremely intense for much of its length though it, too, ends with a slow movement. The composer has commented that he was conscious of the influence of Beethoven's String Quartet Op 95, in which a fierce concentration of material makes room for later expansions. Simpson's Quartet is in a single movement and a basic tempo that remains unchanged throughout, but it has four clearly identifiable sections. Violent contrasts are tne essence of this work. The opening Allegro molto is a tightly constructed exposition of the main elements: the tritone, the major third, and the up-and-down chromatic twist from the Tenth Quartet. An intensely polyphonie Adagio follows, and a large virtuoso Scherzo creeps in upon it, opening out little by little into a movement of tremendous energy in which much use is made of upward-rushing scales. These scales, being in duple time, conflict with the prevailing fast Eroica-style triple rhythm, and greatly add to the excitement and feeling of headlong rush. The movement develops as if it is going to turn into a Finale, but suddenly, as the music seems to be reaching a frenetic and exhilarating climax, everything disappears, leaving only thin air in its place. The most extreme contrast in ine work is now projected, for the Quartet ends with a very slow section marked ppp throughout. The basic shapes and intervals of the earlier sections are still there, but all is now de-humanized, remote and static, and it slowly drifts away into silence.

from notes by Lionel Pike © 1988


Simpson: String Quartets Nos 10 & 11
CDA66225Archive Service


Movement 1: Allegro molto
Track 4 on CDA66225 [6'15] Archive Service
Movement 2: Adagio
Track 5 on CDA66225 [6'22] Archive Service
Movement 3: Presto – Molto adagio pianissimo
Track 6 on CDA66225 [12'27] Archive Service

Track-specific metadata for CDA66225 track 5

Recording date
10 June 1986
Recording venue
St Augustine's Church, Penarth, Cardiff, Wales
Recording producer
Michael George
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Simpson: String Quartets Nos 10 & 11 (CDA66225)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: March 1988
    Deletion date: October 2009
    Archive Service
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...