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John Story
Fanfare, December 2002

"The performances by the Kreutzer Quartet seem immaculate, and the recorded sound is perfect. Firmly recommended, especially at Naxos's budget price."



Gimbel
American Record Guide, August 2002

"The British Kreutzer Quartet plays these hair-raisingly difficult pieces with provocative virtuosity. Enthusiastic notes by Kyle Gann."



Anthony burton
BBC Music Magazine, June 2002

"The British Kreutzer Quartet, well recorded, tackles all this with apparent authority and fierce concentration. The notes are helpful and the cover has a striking painting by the composer."



Phillip Clark
The Strand, June 2002

"The achievement of the Kreutzer Quartet in realising the technical challenges of Coate's score while playing with shattering intensity is superhuman. And, as the ghostly echoes of tonality pervade the second movement before the music's electrifying conclusion, the players make a case for it being a masterpiece of modern quartet writing."



Peter Dickinson
Gramophone, May 2002

Gloria Coates proves to have a distinctive string quartet voice well worth hearing.

Gloria Coates is the American composer who has been based in Munich since 1969 and in the last few years has gained an increasing profile on CD. Michael Oliver has admired her orchestral works (3/97; 2/99, both CPO) and there is a special atmosphere about her music. She has her own sound, which is difficult to acquire these days.

Much of this is to do with Coates' systematic employment of glissandos and microtones. The opening of Quartet No.5 (1988) uses diatonic material but half the quartet is tuned a quarter tone higher. At first it's excruciating but then the separate tunings seem logical, like the different rhythmic systems of Nancarrow's piano studies. All three movements of this Quartet are concerned with sounds sustained without a break. The second and third are both based on glissandos. The title of the third movement, 'In the Fifth Dimension', reflects its central sound, based on perfect fifths, familiar as open strings tuning up.

The early Quartet No.1 (1966), entitled Protestation Quartet, is quite different. This is a single movement lasting less than six minutes. The textures are varied but they are dominated by an ostinato pattern, which comes in and out of focus. All credit to cellist, Neil Heyde, for delivering this in exposed high harmonics!

Quartet No.6 (1999) is again preoccupied with continuous sounds, glissandos and quarter-tones. It's a discriminating kind of texture music but the shadow of Cage's First String Quartet 1950) falls over the mesmeric, static landscape of the last movement, 'Evanescence'. Never mind: it's a tradition worth exploring in new ways.

Committed performances, well recorded, launch a new experience in the string quartet repertoire.



Giselher Schubert
Fono Forum, May 2002

"Without a doubt, Gloria Coates has the strongest profile of any American women composer of her generation. Her music is strange and fantastic, completely personal and can easily be identified as hers; and this is true among every conceivable and varied type of music that exists, a music in which she opens up to us a totally new world of sound. Her music has become well known, often structured entirely with glissandi using strict compositional principles without producing any stiffness or mechanical, doctrinaire effect. On the contrary, the music seems to develop almost as if it were improvised in a fascinating interplay of interlacing forces of order and chaos. An unusual paradox occurs automatically in which one has the simultaneous feeling of both moving and standing still at the same time. To quite a degree, the listener completely loses his feeling for his sense of time. This is also a result of the intense performance through the long stretches of sound by the outstanding Kreuzer Quartet."



Raymond Tuttle
Classical Net, May 2002

"In this quartet, [Coates'] fascination with canons and unusual string timbres is already evident. Here, Coates seems to be acknowledging Bela Bartok...The opening movement of the Sixth Quartet (1999) is designated 'Still,' and indeed, the music sounds almost autistic, even post-nuclear, and eerily so. The third movement, 'Evanescence,' recapitulates the first movement, but is even more still. In between, 'Mediation' is a fragile web of glissandi. The music is devoid of melody, at least in the traditional sense, but it can grab the listener as tightly as any Big Tune, if given the chance...I give [this disc] an enthusiastic recommendation and look forward to hearing more from Gloria Coates."



Jed Distler
ClassicsToday.com, April 2002

"At long last, the aural equivalent to Salvador Dali's melted watches! Gloria Coates (b. 1939) has created a string quartet language out of glissandos: long, short, abrupt, gradual, creaky, rounded, often dissonant, sometimes consonant. The music conjures up vivid aural images. The Fifth Quartet, for instance, begins with delicate high-register, insect-like squeals. These assiduously descend into detuned, slow moving canons that resemble a chorus of drunken cartoon cats and coyotes intoning half-remembered hymns and barroom ballads. Its second movement is built from glissandos that ascend and descend in super-slow motion. By contrast, the third movement nearly recaps the second at a hundred times the speed, the double stops suggesting a veritable orchestra of quartets whizzing before you in a race against time. The brief First Quartet dates from the composer's late 20s and reveals that the basic elements of her present style already were in place, if not so extreme in their deployment. I especially like the Sixth Quartet's concluding "Evanescence" movement, where palpable melodic shapes emerge from intertwining long, sustained, slowly modulated glissandos, demarcated by occasional gentle pizzicato dabs. If Coates is the painter, the Kreutzer Quartet is the widely varied palette of colors and the big, austere canvas. The sheer variety of nuance and timbre the players bring to these scores will be hard to equal, let alone surpass. Kyle Gann's exemplary notes are analytical without being academic."



Pierre Ruhe
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 2002

"The sensuous, ultra-hip music of Gloria Coates might appeal more to the electronica club crowd than to classical music traditionalists. But there are no electronics in her concert hall creations for standard violins, violas and cellos. Instead, she gets a haunting, out-of-focus, delirious sound using glissandos --- the gradual sliding from one pitch to another, like slow-motion sirens, one melding into another. In a superbly realized new album, on the budget Naxos label, we hear Coates' String Quartet No. 1 (an early work, written in 1966), No. 5 (1988) and her most recent and most exuberant, No. 6 (1999). In the nine-minute finale of her Fifth Quartet, for example, each of the four instruments has its own voice, woven around the others --- except, outrageously, they're sliding up and down at different speeds. This is a record that needs to be experienced. The performances by the British-based Kreutzer Quartet are on target. They get the playfulness, the originality and the turmoil in Coates' music."



Jed Distler
ClassicsToday.com, April 2002

"At long last, the aural equivalent to Salvador Dali's melted watches! Gloria Coates (b. 1939) has created a string quartet language out of glissandos: long, short, abrupt, gradual, creaky, rounded, often dissonant, sometimes consonant. The music conjures up vivid aural images. The Fifth Quartet, for instance, begins with delicate high-register, insect-like squeals. These assiduously descend into detuned, slow moving canons that resemble a chorus of drunken cartoon cats and coyotes intoning half-remembered hymns and barroom ballads. Its second movement is built from glissandos that ascend and descend in super-slow motion. By contrast, the third movement nearly recaps the second at a hundred times the speed, the double stops suggesting a veritable orchestra of quartets whizzing before you in a race against time. The brief First Quartet dates from the composer's late 20s and reveals that the basic elements of her present style already were in place, if not so extreme in their deployment. I especially like the Sixth Quartet's concluding "Evanescence" movement, where palpable melodic shapes emerge from intertwining long, sustained, slowly modulated glissandos, demarcated by occasional gentle pizzicato dabs. If Coates is the painter, the Kreutzer Quartet is the widely varied palette of colors and the big, austere canvas. The sheer variety of nuance and timbre the players bring to these scores will be hard to equal, let alone surpass. Kyle Gann's exemplary notes are analytical without being academic."



Hans-Christian von Dadelsen
Klassik heute, April 2002

"The American composer Gloria Coates has a highly personal and individualistic style of composing. Different chamber music sounds are combined with overlapping and shifting conceptual tendencies. A wide spectrum of microtonal colors and structures gives her music its personal identity; the constant undulating of the pitches gives one a peculiar feeling as if he were swimming in an acoustical stream, which reveals endless facets in its stillness to wildly running rapids... The excellent quartet gives an inspiring entrance into the creations of an important composer. rating 8 (10)"



The Strad

"Gloria Coates hasn't only composed music; she's composed a world of her own...Her scores have something of the rawness of Xenakis, yet her fascination with canons and her veiled allusions to other music suggest a clearer relationship to tradition. But Coates offers as radical and fresh a viewpoint on tradition as you're likely to hear."



The Wire

"Munich based composer Gloria Coates's Naxos disc of her tactile, highly sculptural string quartets showed more established masters a thing or two about injecting expression and vulnerability into the debris of modernism. This new disc from a customarily leftfield American label takes up Coates's cause with a series of works exploring her relationship to text. Most striking is Fonte Da Rimini (1976), a setting of Leonardo Da Vinci, in which the sweep of Coates's trademark glissandi shatters the orchestral sheen, as sepia voices hover above like a delicate, faded fresco, Indian Sounds (1991) poaches material from the Native American tradition to produce a respectful tribute to a culture that surrounded Coates's Wisconsin childhood. Other settings of Stephane Mallarme and Paul Celan brilliantly transmute words into music that's never afraid to be lurid or revealing."



Jed Distler
ClassicsToday.com

"At long last, the aural equivalent to Salvador Dali's melted watches! Gloria Coates (b. 1939) has created a string quartet language out of glissandos: long, short, abrupt, gradual, creaky, rounded, often dissonant, sometimes consonant. The music conjures up vivid aural images. The Fifth Quartet, for instance, begins with delicate high-register, insect-like squeals. These assiduously descend into detuned, slow moving canons that resemble a chorus of drunken cartoon cats and coyotes intoning half-remembered hymns and barroom ballads. Its second movement is built from glissandos that ascend and descend in super-slow motion. By contrast, the third movement nearly recaps the second at a hundred times the speed, the double stops suggesting a veritable orchestra of quartets whizzing before you in a race against time. The brief First Quartet dates from the composer's late 20s and reveals that the basic elements of her present style already were in place, if not so extreme in their deployment. I especially like the Sixth Quartet's concluding "Evanescence" movement, where palpable melodic shapes emerge from intertwining long, sustained, slowly modulated glissandos, demarcated by occasional gentle pizzicato dabs. If Coates is the painter, the Kreutzer Quartet is the widely varied palette of colors and the big, austere canvas. The sheer variety of nuance and timbre the players bring to these scores will be hard to equal, let alone surpass. Kyle Gann's exemplary notes are analytical without being academic."



ReR Megacorp

Admirably performed by the Kreuzer Quartet, these pieces open a world of constant flux and flow…extraordinary work where ‘all is solid melts into air’. © ReR Megacorp Read complete review






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