String Quartet No. 3


Three movements... triangular numbers... rhythmic interplay around figures-of-three...

The town of Todmorden is at the confluence of three valleys, at the meeting point of three roads to the three cities of Rochdale, Burnley, and Halifax; at the centre of and shaped by the three industrial transport routes: rail, road, and canal. The Town Hall, which straddles the old border of Yorkshire and Lancashire, is notable for the three empty plinths adorning the magnificent frontage.

In many ways, therefore, this String Quartet - in which the music is obsessed with the properties mystical and mathematical of the number 3 - is a portrait of Todmorden: not as the town exists today, for who can create an accurate portrait of a town in music? But as an illustration of the shaping forces of a town as it evolves in three eras: from pre-industrial anonymity, to an industrial hey-day, and then to the present post-industrial era and a future yet to be written.

  1. Andante — Allegro — Adagio

  2. Lento, ma con moto

  3. Allegro, con anima

The first performance was given by the Ligeti Quartet.


25 minutes


String quartet


Todmorden Town Council

First performance

18th June 2016, at Todmorden Town Hall, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, performed by The Ligeti Quartet.


A live recording of the world premiere, given by The Ligeti Quartet.

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If you would like to see a score and/or require a set of parts for this music, please contact me.

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