A Little Notebook was composed in 2006 to celebrate the 40th birthday of Melissa Lane, my partner, and to fulfill a longstanding promise and wish, to compose a piece for the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. This latter aim became more pointed in the course of 2006 - the anniversary of the birth of Dimitri Shostakovich. The Shostakovich cycle of quartets was profoundly influential when I was young and the Fitzwilliam's recording is something that I remember and still treasure.
I composed most of this piece in Los Angeles, in the home where Melissa grew up, where I happened across a waltz that she composed at a music-camp. A short fragment of that theme is used in the piece, appearing at the end of the first march. The piece is in ten short sections, though played continuously. They are:-
March (1) - very energetic - still energetic - march (2) - waltz - delicate, hushed - absolutely still - allegro furioso - gentle, simple - march (3).
It is dedicated to Melissa Lane and to the members of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet.