Minerva Manoeuvres

Genre: Instrumental


Forces: String quartet

Length: 3 Minutes


A short piece for string quartet evoking a Swan Hellenic cruise, 1998.

Sheet Music

Watermarked (Free)




Printed Copies


Programme notes

Minerva Manoeuvres

Patricia and I took a Swan Hellenic cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary. On board was the Bebeto String Quartet. Hearing I was a composer, their leader asked if I could write something for them to play at their final concert.
On a Swan Hellenic cruise free time is in short supply; I had no manuscript paper or pencil - certainly no computer! But somehow, Minerva Manoeuvres was finished just 48 hours later. (It had to be quick so I could relax and enjoy myself: I wrote it mostly in the middle of the night!)
I was interested by the contrast between the discipline of the crew and staff, and the romantic hedonism of the passengers.
I expressed the former in a march, the latter in a yearning 3/4 melody. Then I combined the duple and triple rhythms to get the accompaniment figure.
The introduction features harmonics in glissando (a flutey breathy sound) to give the feeling of a dream sequence, of time out.
The audience reaction was extremely gratifying - indeed they insisted on an immediate encore.

F L Dunkin Wedd
Tonbridge, Kent
June 1998


First performed aboard MV Minerva by The Bebeto String Quartet.