String Quartet No.4
Danny Boy Variations (1999)
duration: 4’
GRT • 061

score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
Danny Boy Variations, is not strictly in 'Theme and Variations' form as such. It is essentially a free rumination on sections of the theme, which ultimately lead to a larger, canonic treatment of the theme in pan–pipe tones which are intended to create an unworldly atmosphere in memory of Frank O'Brien. The Danny Boy theme is one that I am fond of, particularly Grainger's version for brass band. The theme here is treated playfully but also taps into a strong sense of nostalgia which is inherent in the tune.