String quartet 2

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dedicated to Jean Absil

Opus 28


  • According to the first edition (the autograph is undated) Legley composed his second string quartet in 1947.
  • The work was first heard on 7 April 1949 during a radio broadcast, in a performance by the Desclin Quartet.[1] However, according to Legley himself, the first performance was only on 2 June 1950 in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam by the Amsterdam String Quartet.[2] The concert in Amsterdam was possibly the first at which an audience was present.
  • Carine Tessely made an extensive analysis of this work in her thesis.[3]


  • instrumentation: string quartet[4]
  • duration: ca 24'


  • I. Allegro con brio
    • time signature: 4/4
      Legley 28-1.jpg
  • II.
    • time signature: 4/4
      • Molto adagio[5]
      • Subito più mosso
      • Tempo primo
        Legley 28-2.jpg
  • III. Allegro commodo
    • time signature: 3/8 and 2/4
      Legley 28-3.jpg
  • IV.
    • Pesante
      • time signature: 3/4
    • Andante
      • time signature: 3/4
    • Allegro moderato e molto deciso
      • time signature: 2/4
    • Andante (tempo primo)
      • time signature: 3/4
        Legley 28-4.jpg
  • V. Vivace
    • time signatures: 6/8, 2/4 and 9/8
      Legley 28-5.jpg


  • autograph (score and parts[6]): Royal Library of Belgium (B-Br), shelf number Mus. Ms. 563
  • first edition (score and parts): CeBeDeM, Brussels, 1956


  1. See:
    • Anonymous: Glansmomenten in De Volksgazet of 6 April 1949, p.7
    • Anonymous: Radio-programma in Het Laatste Nieuws of 7 April 1949, p.9
    • Anonymous: Radio in La Libre Belgique of 7 April 1949, p.8
    • Anonymous: Radio in De Standaard of 7 April 1949, p.5
    • Anonymous: Radio in Gazet van Antwerpen of 7 April 1949, p.10
    • Anonymous: Radiorubriek in Het Nieuws van den Dag of 7 April 1949, p.8.
    The Desclin Quartet consisted of Henri Desclin (violin), Leon Foya (violin), Henri Langewouters (viola) and Désiré Derissen (cello).
  2. Tessely (p.178) writes that Legley could only remember that the first performance was played in 1950 by the Amsterdam String Quartet in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. An article in De Tijd of 3 June 1950 (T.VR.: Belgisch uitwisselingsconcert, p.3) allows us to pinpoint the date of this performance.
  3. Tessely, pp.178-197.
  4. 2 violins, viola and cello.
  5. In the autograph Legley first wrote down Molto Andante, which he later changed to Adagio
  6. On the back of the viola part someone (not Legley) wrote down a harmony exercise.