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Coull Quartet

19 May 2024

Mozart: String quartet in B flat major K. 589

Ravel: String Quartet in F major


Smetana: String Quartet No. 1 in E minor

In a break with tradition, our 2024 series of concerts will be opened by the Coull Quartet instead of the Sacconi Quartet, who will be playing on Saturday 7 September. Many of our audience may remember the Coull Quartet’s consummate, and moving performance of the Elgar piano quintet in July 2022.

The Coull Quartet start our season with Mozart’s masterly quartet in B flat major, K. 589 from 1790, the second of three works written for King Wilhelm II of Prussia, a keen amateur ’cellist, for whom the composer was careful to devise prominent ’cello parts.

Maurice Ravel’s only string quartet, written in 1902-3, is a brilliant essay by a composer primarily associated with piano and orchestral repertoire. After a controversial reception, it has since become a cornerstone of the repertoire, popular with performers and audiences alike.

Smetana’s two quartets come from the difficult final years of his life. The E minor quartet, subtitled ‘From my life’, is perhaps the first programmatic string quartet in history, telling of the joys and sorrows experienced throughout the composer’s life.

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