String Quartet No.3

Composer: John Kinsella (b. 1932)
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Composer: John Kinsella (b. 1932)

Performance date: 28/06/2008

Venue: Bantry Library

Composition Year: 1977

Duration: 00:19:09

Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation: 2vn, va, vc

Instrumentation Category:String Quartet

Artists: RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet (Gregory Ellis, Keith Pascoe [violins], Simon Aspell [viola], Christopher Marwood [cello]) - [quartet]

This work was commissioned by the Testore String Quartet, leader Audrey Park, for performance at the 1978 Dublin Festival of 20th Century Music which took place in January of that year. Other quartets subsequently played the piece, notably the Academica and Vanbrugh String Quartets, the latter recording a superb performance on the Chandos label in 1994.
Composed between February and October 1977 my third string quartet is played without a break, although there are three distinct movements.
My previous introductory note to the piece was mainly a factual description of the music but at this remove I can perhaps be more objective and add that the months of composition closely paralleled  the final illness of my first wife, Bridget, and that the discipline of composition helped me to cope.
The moods vary from apprehension, to shock, to disbelief, to denial, to self pity, to anger, to acceptance, and to wonder and awe at the moment of death, which slips by with a final breath and a final heartbeat.