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COATES, G: String Quartets Nos 1, 5 and 6

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (8 ratings)
COATES, G: String Quartets Nos 1, 5 and 6 album cover
String Quartet No. 5: Through Time
String Quartet No. 5: Through Space
String Quartet No. 5: In the Fifth Dimension
Protestation Quartet
String Quartet No. 6: Still
String Quartet No. 6: Meditation
String Quartet No. 6: Evanescence
Album Information

Total Tracks: 7   Total Length: 59:19

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Difficult but Worthwhile


I'm not going to lie: this isn't my favorite music of all time. It requires one to be in a certain, accepting frame of mind. These quartets consist largely of elongated sheets of sound, the pitches sliding up and down creating strange and frankly spacey effects. Coates uses some of the more intellectualized tools of composition, such as mirror canon, in her quartets, although of course this isn't usually obvious from straightfoward listening. Sometimes she manages to make the quartet sound like a much larger ensemble due to the sheer combined weight of the sounds being produced by the instruments. This is difficult music, but for the adventurous - especially those specifically interested in modern string quartet writing - it should not be ignored, especially in these admirably performed and recorded performances by the Kreutzer Quartet.

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A Unique Experience


I bought this album knowing little of Gloria Coates and merely loaded up my MP3 player and went for a walk at dusk. The pieces here are very subtle and the only observation I could make immediately is that the mood is very unusual, the a continuous stressing sound that some may find objectionable. But on a cold dusk with the wind blowing and a jacket on, this album provided the perfect soundtrack. Upon further research, Coates, a renowned classical composer, is notable for her use of "glissandos" (the continuous sliding noise you hear all over this album) and in following very rigid structures. A quote online said she was trying to establish structure within chaos. It's a very interesting listen!