The Maw Quartet was commissioned by the University of Warwick and is played by the Coull Quartet who
premiered the work to celebrate their 21st Anniversary in 1995.
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
“The Coull Quartet have often played Nicholas Maw's Third Quartet since giving its premier in 1995, and this recording - in exceptionally lucid sound - testifies to their mastery of its tricky technical details and their sensitivity to its expressive character.”
“Britten's last quartet has been lucky in its recordings… With the Coull there's a sense of searching and effort, which suits the pain of the music more than the complete technical assurance of the Belcea Quartet… In the final bleak Passacaglia, the Belcea seem almost over-optimistic, while the Coull expose the raw nerve-endings with their less blended sound and rubato. The Maw also ends with a Passacaglia, though it's much richer in texture than Britten's, passionate rather than resigned. The Coull respond to all the facets of the work - it was written for them - and, like the Britten, it's warmly recorded.”
“The Coull Quartet have often played Nicholas Maw's Third Quartet since giving its premiere in 1995, and this recording – in exceptionally lucid sound – testifies to their mastery of its tricky technical details and their sensitivity to its expressive character. It begins in a spirit of restless lyricism which builds compellingly, eloquence and drama intensifying in ways which place the music firmly in the tradition of Berg and Bartók without any hint of abject dependency. The work is crowned by a concluding passacaglia which creates tension from the superimposition of contrasting layers of texture before reaching a climax with a unison line for all four players, a moment of revelation which subsides into a regretful resolution. The chordal material at the end hints at the opening of Maw's later opera Sophie's Choice, and this is one reason why the ideal coupling for the quartet would have been the recent string sextet in which Maw uses material from the opera. The sextet probably wasn't complete when this recording was planned, however, and the Coull have chosen a quartet, Britten's Third, which has certain stylistic and formal features in common with Maw's. Despite some lack of necessary rawness in the second and fourth movements, this is an admirable account, and particularly successful in projecting the chaconne finale as music constantly on the verge of breakdown. The Britten has been much recorded, and several other performances are as impressive as this one. Even so, its presence does nothing to reduce the feeling that this is an outstanding release.”
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