October 2017

String Quartet No.6: for Max


 Four movements, 28 minutes

Commissioned jointly by the 2017 St Magnus International Festival and soundfestival 2017, with additional financial support from Steve Johnson,

Premièred in a three-movement version by the Edinburgh Quartet at Stromness Town Hall, Orkney, on 18th June 2017. The première of the entire work took place with the same performers on 28th October 2017, at St Machar’s Cathedral, Old Aberdeen.

Audio Clips:

Clip 1 is taken from the first movement (Sonata), from the point where the music slides into the first climax before melting away into something altogether sweeter.

Clip 2 is another transitional moment – the end of the first hearing of the fugue dissolving into something – again – sweeter!

Clip 3 is the conclusion of the third movement (Chorale)

The performers are the Edinburgh Quartet.


  • 1
    String Quartet No.6 - 1 Sonata - Clip 1
  • 2
    String Quartet No.6 - 2 Fugue - Clip 2
  • 3
    String Quartet No.6 - 3 Chorale - Clip 3

Sample Score Pages


“A personal portrait of Maxwell Davies is threaded through Geoff Palmer’s new work Sonata, Fugue, Chorale Quartet No.6, which pays homage to both the late composer and Scotland’s northern landscapes. In stunning form, the Edinburgh Quartet revelled in the dissonant harmonics of the sonata and grounding chords of the chorale in a dazzling account. But it was the unusual five-beat fugue, with its swooping and diving glissandi and offbeat pizzicato, that most neatly captured Max’s puckish personality and spoke with Palmer’s distinctive voice.”


The Scotsman 24 June 2017