Viola part from String Quartet No. 1

19 minutes
Modern classical music
Other parts

This String Quartet was originally written between 1977 and 1979 and finally revised in 2011. It was first performed in the original version by the Amsterdam String Quartet in the Purcell Room, London in February 1980.

It is in four movements that play without a break, and lasts just under twenty minutes. The music contrasts the struggles of everyday existence with a search for a more harmonious life. Although starting calmly, the first movement is mainly agitato in nature with a violent outburst that interrupts the flow. This outburst appears at the end of the movement which leads into the second movement, an Adagio. This movement, at first, appears to be searching for a peaceful outcome, but is not the ultimate solution. An extended version of the violent outburst from the first movement abruptly interrupts any sense of calm at the end, and leads into a statement of the theme to be used in the third movement.

The third movement is a fast dance-like theme with variations, with development of ideas from the previous movements. In particular, the movement becomes more stressed as it develops and leads naturally to a much more extended version of the violent outburst, before a return to the music of the second movement. The violent phrases are not far away and the movement ends with the final version of the outburst, even more extended and more terrifying.

This is immediately broken by calm as it leads into the final movement via a single long held note. This movement, marked Lento, expresses the final goal for the work, total peace and calm. It uses a kind of choral with a pizzicato cello line. Slow but ornate phases appear at first in the viola, and later in the cello, and the work ends on a single long held chord that expresses the ultimate goal of stillness and calm.

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.


Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

cloud scorch goes here

This part was submitted by Malcolm Dedman. If you wish to perform, record, or broadcast this music then you should contact them first.

In order to submit this part to Malcolm Dedman has declared that they own the copyright to this work in its entirety or that they have been granted permission from the copyright holder to use their work. If you believe that this part should be not available here because it infringes your or someone elses copyright, please report this part using the copyright abuse form.