October 2013

String Quartet No. 5: Haec Dies


Four movements, 21 minutes plus extra tuning time

First performed by the Edinburgh Quartet at King’s College Chapel, University of Aberdeen on October 26th 2013, as part of the University’s Concert Season, soundfestival (Scotland’s Festival of New Music), and the “Beyond the Semitone” symposium.

The audio clips are the opening moments of each of the first three movements, and an extract from near the beginning of the fourth.

I: Adagio turn of the tide, Findhorn Bay

II: Sonata sands of Culbin

III: Ciacona geese flying north

IV Cadenze e finale … aurora borealis

The performers are the Edinburgh Quartet


  • 1
    String Quartet No.5 - 1 Adagio
  • 2
    49 02 opening clip
  • 3
    String Quartet No.5 - 3 Ciacona
  • 4
    String Quartet No.5 - 4 Cadenze e Finale

Sample Score Pages


“… a rapturous, highly moving celebration of the natural world, bringing in flying geese, turning tides and the aurora borealis, and requiring the Edinburgh Quartet players to retune their instruments so that they could imitate the sublime resonance of a Himalayan singing bowl. The foursome were on remarkably fine form, clearly relishing the … astonishing piece’s strange sounds in fiercely dramatic yet limpid performances”

David Kettle on Palmer’s String Quartet No. 5 Haec Dies (The Scotsman, 28th October 2013)

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