The Piano Quartet was written in December 2007 for the Primrose Quartet, and is dedicated to Tam McPhail, in memory of his wife, Gunnie Moberg.
Gunnie was Swedish, but settled with Tam and their four sons in Orkney, from which base she became internationally known as an artist and photographer, as well as being a close friend, and an inspiration in my own work.
In this Quartet I have attempted to embrace as many of Gunnie’s character traits and influences as I could, including her very Scandinavian rigour, her Scottish humour, and even her love of the Faroe Islands. It is plainsong based, with an eightfold magic square.
1. Entrance and Jig
2. Slow Air
3. Føroya Kvædi (Lullabye from Faroe)
4. Rebus Runarum
5. Hortus Conclusus
6. Tantum Ergo Sacramentum
The first three movements are played without a break, as are the last two.
(c) Peter Maxwell Davies