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Stephanie Boyd
American Record Guide, May 2019

…Avalon Quartet is ubiquitously stunning; their performance of these works blazes a strong path for future interpretations of Quale’s work. Though each work is greatly different from the others, this will delight listeners again and again. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, April 2019

The recordings were made three years ago in the NIUSM Boutell Memorial Concert Hall and present a wide, up-front sonic image in pleasantly reverberant surroundings. All four instruments are well captured and balanced from left to right in order of increasing size.

The string tone is natural and characterized by lustrous highs, a rich midrange and clean bass without any hangover in lower cello passages. Those partial to contemporary music in this genre, as well as any audiophiles among them should investigate this album. © 2019 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review



Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone, April 2019

The Avalon Quartet took part in the premieres of the First and Third Quartets; the conviction they bring cannot be gainsaid. Vividly recorded and thoughtfully annotated (by Quayle himself), this is a welcome introduction to a composer from whom one looks forward to hearing more. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




BBC Music Magazine, March 2019

Good performances. © 2019 BBC Music Magazine



Stephen Greenbank
MusicWeb International, January 2019

The Avalon String Quartet, who’ve had close ties with these string quartets since their genesis, give committed performances of these imaginatively constructed quartets; they obviously believe in the music and the composer couldn’t have wished for better advocates. Furthermore, they’ve been well-recorded. Matthew Quayle’s own liner notes offer helpful background and context, aiding the listener to appreciate fully these richly embroidered scores. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2018

Born in the United States in 1976, Matthew Quayle divides his working life in three parts—teaching, a concert pianist, and a prolific composer in many differing genre. His available biography stops a long way short of providing details of his early life and of the mentors who helped to shape his life as a composer, though these three compositions, written in the present century, live in a world I usually describe as modern tonality. There is nothing here that would do other than follow on the long traditions of the conventional works of Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland, while at the same time it distances itself from Western Europe. In four movements, with the slow Andante serioso coming third, the First Quartet introduces the lively scherzo early in the score. Completed in 2005, there are sufficient pointers to its date of composition, but clashing harmonies and a bitter-sweet mercurial finale removes it from any faction of current composers. The following year he completed the Second Quartet. In one movement, subdivided into many sections, it was subtitled ‘Sweet Insanity’. That is a good name for a work that is seemingly confused as to its direction. The Third has been built out of thirteen sections mostly lasting little over a few seconds, the basic idea being an ever changing kaleidoscope of moods and colours which is absorbing in its musical textures. I take the performances—all premiere recordings—as being definitive as the composer was the disc’s Producer. The Avalon are a young American-based group with a growing international presence, their transparent quality to be much admired. © 2018 David’s Review Corner



Records International, December 2018

The Second Quartet is a mischievous blend of serious tonal lyricism, somewhat Shostakovichian, and disruptive, spiky atonality (sort of), with a dash of Blues thrown in for good measure. Its existential angst is satirical and nose-thumbing rather than earnest and confessional like the First. The Third, much more recent, comprises 13 short movements amounting to a kind of cubist self-portrait with different and contradictory facets of the composer’s personality simultaneously on display. © 2018 Records International Read complete review





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