research activity and articles

Current research activity includes the production of a playing edition of the quartets of Joseph Gibbs and the recording and performance of the Paul Patterson String Quartet.

Any additional research papers and articles will be posted here when available.


Six Quartettos by Joseph Gibbs: Publication, Recording and Performance

Project Outline: The editing and publication, recording and performance of six Quartettos by Joseph Gibbs

Introduction: Joseph Gibbs was born in Colchester in 1698. It is likely he lived in Colchester until he was appointed organist at Dedham in 1744. In 1748, he took up the post of organist and choirmaster at St. Mary-le-Tower in Ipswich where he stayed until his death in 1788

The Six Quartettos: These works were published in London in 1777 by Thomson. Unusually for works of this genre in the country, they seem to be specifically written to two violins, tenor (sic) and cello, rather than the all-encompassing instrumentation seen often at this time. If so, they are probably the first examples of an “English” string quartet. This publication of these works was the only one. The manuscripts were given to the Ipswich record office in 1923 where they now reside.

Project Details:

  • Using the original manuscripts, to edit and publish a current set of parts and score for the six Quartettos.
  • To record them in a local venue significance (either St. Mary-le-Tower or Orford church if the former is not suitable)
  • To perform them publicly

© Mark Messenger: 22nd August 2001


The String Quartet by Paul Patterson: Recording and Performance

Project Outline: The world premier recording and subsequent performance of this seminal work in the 20th Century quartet genre

Introduction: Since his arrival in the mid-1960s, Paul Patterson has been one of the most prominent and widely respected figures on the British compositional scene. Unusually enquiring and open-minded even within his generation of composers, he has long been an instrumental force in ridding the British compositional scene of any elements of insularity and narrow-mindedness.  This achievement finds a reflection both in his long-standing activity as a teacher and in his music which, if unquestionably British in inflection, is just as unmistakably international in outlook.      

The String Quartet: The string quartet was written in 1983 with the assistance of the Bingham String Quartet, and though remaining universally popular it has remained unrecorded.

Project Details:

The genesis for this project resides in the current position Paul Patterson holds as external examiner for the CMPA at Colchester Institute.

  • To rehearse and work with the composer to rehearse, prepare and update parts for a recording of the string quartet
  • To perform the quartet at the Colchester Institute, possibly as part of a mini-festival or concert of Paul Patterson’s work (December 2001)

© Mark Messenger: 22nd August 2001