Reviews: Coull String Quartet
“Few first recordings of music by a living composer can have sounded as authoritative as these” - Gramophone
“Superbly focused readings, recorded with the utmost presence” - The Independent (Simpson CD)
“Played compellingly” - The Daily Telegraph (Mendelssohn CD)
“This splendid release first hit the stores in 1994, and now Hyperion has seen fit to give it a new sendoff on its midprice Helios label…. we are lucky to have this superb reading by the Coull, who have this music in their blood… Eloquent and sensitive performances of some of the finest British chamber works of our century” - BBC Music Magazine ( Elgar/Bridge/Walton CD)
“… the Coull Quartet offers very satisfying versions highlighted by moderate to quick tempos, exuberant outer movements, an abundance of rhythmic vitality, poignant and comforting slow movements, and a superb display of Mozart's playful nature. …Also, the disc is generously filled-out with a compelling interpretation of the Adagio and Fugue in C minor that fully conveys the austerity, dotted rhythms, jagged musical lines and baroque foundation of the work.” Review of Mozart Quartets CD on the SOMM label.
“The Coull String Quartet, a British ensemble, made its New York debut Sunday afternoon at the Frick Collection. Formed in 1974 and named for its first violinist, Roger Coull …the group produces a bright, robust sound and plays with a stylistic command that matches its exuberance…
The highlight of the afternoon, though, was Robert Simpson's String Quartet No. 11, a spellbinding work in four connected movements, composed for the Coull quartet in 1984. Clearly written with the group's strengths in mind, the work has an acerbic edge, a propulsive rhythmic sense and, in the quick first and third movements, a brash and almost barbaric energy. The slow movements, alternately introspective and eerie, are no less gripping, and the ensemble brought to the work what seemed an ideal blend of adrenaline and concentration.” - New York Times