Hartlepool Music Society
23rd Season 2007-8
International Recital Series
(Registered Charity No 1071293)

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Coull String Quartet

Monday 26th November 2007:

Roger Coull & Philip Gallaway, violins
Gustav Clarkson, viola
Nicholas Roberts, cello


Mozart: Quartet in D K575
Smetana: Quartet No. 1 "From my Life"
Beethoven: Quartet Op 59 No. 3 "Rasumovsky"

Artist Information: Coull String Quartet

The Coull Quartet was formed in 1974 and has established itself as one of Britain 's most respected and imaginative ensembles. The Quartet performs regularly in the USA and Western Europe and has also toured India , the Far East, Middle East, South America and Australia .

In an exciting new venture the Quartet is planning to make a series of recordings with the recording company SOMM. Current critically acclaimed recordings include the complete Schubert Quartets, the complete Mendelssohn Quartets (the recommended choice of BBC Radio 3's Record Review) and a recording of quartets by Walton, Elgar and Bridge which was voted 'Record of the Year' by the BBC Music Magazine.

The ensemble has a broad repertoire and has retained a strong commitment to contemporary music, commissioning works from eminent British composers such as Robert Simpson, Nicholas Maw and David Matthews.

Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Warwick since 1977, the Coull Quartet is actively involved in the University's flourishing musical life, teaching and coaching chamber music and the student orchestras, as well as giving recitals at its renowned Arts Centre.


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

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