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Kevin Volans

Publisher: Chester Music

String Quartet No 6 (2000),
commissioned jointly by the City Music Society and the Duke Quartet, the latter with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
24 Minutes

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Score and Part(s) Score and Part(s)

Programme Note
Kevin Volans String Quartet No 6 (2000),
For the audio files required to perform String Quartet No 6, please contact

Score sample

  • Ensemble
    Duke Quartet
    Black Box:
…it's not a quartet at all but an octet: one "live" quartet interacts with one pre-recorded quartet relayed by loudspeakers (both in the case the Duke [Quartet]). Volans is a writer of staggering gifts. He has the courage to abandon familiar sound worlds and the skill entirely to convince. From its score, this 24-minute piece appears little more than a sequence of slow, sustained chords passed between two quartets, with one vital instruction that vibrato should only be used when marked. But this is to belie the effect: a "rocking" motion is established as the chordal texture is thickened or thinned, articulated only by the subtlest of dynamic change. The ear strains to distinguish the source, the sound balance so equal, the play of psycho-acoustics magical, peaceful, settling. The Duke were astonishing, assured…one of the most beautiful and haunting works I have heard for a very long time. Look out for it this autumn when released on CD on Black Box.
Annette Morreau, The Independent,01/03/2001
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