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Robert Matthew-Walker
International Record Review, January 2012

the Maggini performance offer truly exceptional value… © 2012 International Record Review

Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Maggini Quartet, even more responsive than on their previous discs of British music, give revelatory performances of works that too often have been underestimated, regarded as mere diversions from the composer’s regular path. The Magginis find a rare clarity and warmth in both quartets. The First was written soon after Vaughan William’s studies with Ravel in Paris, with obvious echoes not just of Ravel but of the Debussy Quartet. The Second Quartet dates from 1942 to 1943, written in the crucial gap between the lyrical Symphony No. 5 and the abrasive No. 6. Most revelatory of all is the Maggini performance of the Phantasy Quintet of 1912, a masterpiece long neglected, weighty and compressed. A slow prelude as intense as that of a Purcell Fantasy leads to three comparably strong and sharply characterized sections.

Adrian Jack
BBC Music Magazine, June 2002

"Its positive virtues are good keyboard-writing and attractiveness. Longer acquaintance might reveal more, and some pieces are quite striking even on a single hearing - usually those in the minor key. The playing is very good."

Jacob Stockinger
The Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal, April 2002

"These are terrific follow-ups, even if the quality of the music is uneven. There's not a lot that remains undiscovered in the string quartet repertoire, but for many listeners these works will be genuine finds."

Jeremy Nicholas
International Record Review, April 2002

"Produced by the composer, this well-recorded disc boasts informative notes from Gavin Sutherland whose innate way with this music is reflected in the excellent playing of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia."

Raymond Tuttle
Classical Net

"Vartolo leads the listener through the composer's contrapuntal thickets like a friendly tour-guide, gifted with historical know-how, recreative imagination, and fingers that are both calm and confident."

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