Gordon Crosse's String Quartet No.2 'Glad to be Here'.
Composers Note: This Quartet takes its inspiration from Quaker sources and above all the "Silent Worship" of Meetings. The music is retrained and simple and avoids violent rhetoric. Above all, it uses traditional forms and modifies them only slightly. The first three movements hint increasingly at a well known tune by Parry setting the hymn "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" by John Greenleaf Whittier - a promint 19thC American Quaker. The tune is played complete at the end of the third movement. The second movement. "Elegy" is dedicated to two of my (non-quaker) friends who had recently lost a beloved Border Collie - for this reason there is a definite "Scottish" feel to the tune. When we get to the final, fourth, movement intended to represent the happy chatter and farewells after Meeting. The "Border Collie" tune is hugely speeded up to provide the theme which scampers home in a haydn-like joke ending.
The subtitle of the quartet comes from a passage contained in the volume "Quaker Faith and Practice" and written by Alexander Parker in 1660.
" ... In such a meeting there will be an unwillingness to part asunder, being ready to say in yourselves, it is good to be here, and this is the end of all words and writings to bring people to the eternal living Word." (section 2.41)
For The 150th Anniversary in 2010 of The Building Of Leiston Quaker Meeting House.