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String Quartet No.2 'The Cranning'

for string quartet

Year:  2005   ·  Duration:  15m
Instrumentation:  two violins, viola, cello

Year:  2005
Duration:  15m
Instrumentation  two violins, viola, cello

Dave Flynn

Composer:   Dave Flynn

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Dave Flynn: 1. Slip from 'S...

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Dave Flynn: Mvts 2–4 from '...

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Buy the score and parts here

This piece is heavily influenced by the traditional music of my native Ireland. There are no traditional Irish melodies in the piece; however throughout the work's four movements there are techniques, modes, rhythms and feelings common to traditional Irish music.

Donegal traditional music has a particularly strong influence on the piece. Donegal fiddlers often use a very attacking bowing technique, which creates a heavy, aggressive sound. This aggressiveness characterises much of the piece and is my way of demonstrating that there’s a lot more to Irish music than the saccharine ‘Celtic’ arrangements that have become synonymous with 'Irish' music in the classical music world.

The title ‘The Cranning’ refers to an ornamentation technique of the Uilleann Pipes, an instrument unique to Ireland. Cranning is used extensively in movement IV where the musicians repeatedly ‘cran’ on low D notes in poly-metric cycles.

Contents note

​I ‘Slip'
II ‘Slide'
III ‘The Bamako Highland’
IV ‘Cran’