Carlo Martelli was born on the 12th December 1935 in London to an Italian father and an English mother. By the age of eleven Carlo had developed a passion for the symphony orchestra. Just before his twelfth birthday he started taking regular violin lessons and very soon began writing elaborate orchestral scores achieving a mastery in this field by the age of sixteen, by which time he had obtained a County Scholarship to attend the Royal College of Music in London, studying composition and viola. By the time he was 21 he had written a string quartet and had already had a great deal of success with several large scale serious symphonic compositions, notably his Second Symphony, which had many performances and broadcasts by several major orchestras in the few years after its completion. In the 1960's he turned to film music to make a living, and also worked steadily as a freelance viola player. His arrangements for string quartet, trio and other combinations number well over 250 and are played by hundreds of groups all over the world.
It was in his music for pianoforte that Debussy confided his most personal inspirations. Nonetheless, in the hands of a master like Carlo Martelli they transcribe well to the quartet medium. This tarantella like piece is no exception.