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String Quintets



Drink to me only with thine eyes for string quintet (with 2 violas)


Drink to me only with thine eyes for string quintet (with 2 cellos)


Hark all ye lovely saints above for string quintet (2 violins, 2 violas, 1 cello)


Fyer Fyer! (Fire! Fire!) for string quintet (2 violins, 2 violas, 1 cello)


Now is the Month of Maying with variations for string quintet (2 violins, 2 violas, 1 cello)


Now is the Month of Maying with variations for string quintet (2 violins, 1 viola, 2 cellos)



Aya Ngena for variations string quintet (2 violins 2 violas 1 cello)



In dir ist Freude - In Thee is gladness - for string quintet (2 violins, 2 violas, 1 cello)


The Silver Swan for String quintet (2 Violins, 1 Viola, 2 Cellos)



Though Amaryllis Dance in Green for string quintet (2 violins 1 viola and 2 cellos)


Sweet Suffolk Owl for String quintet (2 Violins, 1 Viola, 2 Cellos)



Paddywhack Variations for string quintet

   (2 violins, 2 violas, 1 cello)



Sweet Suite for String quintet


Marie for shame (string quintet)

   (2 violins, viola, 2 cellos)

 Nocturne (string quintet)

   (2 violins, viola, 2 cellos)

Camp David (string quintet)

   (2 violins, viola, 2 cellos)

Blue Boar Blue (string quintet)

   (2 violins, viola, 2 cellos)




Story behind the various movements:

"Marie for shame" comes from the Ronsard poem as translated by my father: “Marie for shame you keep your bed too long. . . .”

The poem is one of those typical "gather ye rosebuds while ye may" conceits so beloved of the renaissance era.


"Nocturne" (assuming that Marie nevertheless stayed in her bed till sundown!) is an extravaganza of early twentieth century song harmonies. (This is my personal "death by chocolate" composition: compare "Lay a Garland" by Pearsall and Barber's "Adagio" if you desire to swim and swoon in yet more chocolate!)


Note: The above two movements (in their electronic preview form) have been used as curiously effective background to a rather unusual and rare film on YouTube...here.



"Camp David" is a jolly and rather camp skit on the traditional Yiddish folksong  "Ich bin a meidel in de joren"


"Blue Boar Blue" is based on a quasi-blues song I wrote based on Mark Haviland's poem of the same name

"Today was a summery Saturday

a day for reading Rabelais

a day to laze your cares away

today has been a symphony in green

a menthol flavoured dream...

But the dream was made for two

and the number two is you. . . . "

String quintet - 1st movement: “Marie for shame” String quintet - 2nd movement: Nocturne String quintet - 3rd movement: Camp David String quintet - 4th Movement: Blue Boar Blue

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