Heath Quartet - Reviews


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"There are celebrated Russian recordings of these quartets with a deeper Slavic passion, but the Heath Quartet brings to Tchaikovsky urgency and a willingness to engage with intensity." - Tchaikovsky String Quartets Nos 1 and 3 CD Review, FINANCIAL TIMES, November 25, 2016

"In the hymn-like introduction, andante sostenuto, and especially the andante funebre e doloroso, the Heath players pour out Tchaikovsky’s grief for his friend with a depth of tone and virtuosity – in the allegros – that matches the finest Russians on disc. A notable debut." - Tchaikovsky String Quartets Nos 1 and 3 CD Review, THE TIMES, November 2016

"The Wigmore hush – and the Heaths’ response to it – is most beneficial in the long, fragile span of the Fifth’s finale. Caution is thrown to the winds most memorably in the Fourth Quartet, the cycle’s charged flashpoint. The Heaths maintain tension throughout, withholding arrival-points from this birth-to-life narrative, whereas The Lindsays allow breathing space in the central, Bartókian nocturne. Both approaches are persuasive, but no one has dramatised the finale’s palindrome, with a spooky hall of mirrored harmonics at its centre, with the poise of the Heaths. A tremendous achievement." - Tippett String Quartets CD Review, GRAMOPHONE, September 2016

"...there seemed to be an even greater heightened awareness of the music, the playing seemed to have a very real instinctive insight and they played it with real, infectious joy." - Beethoven B flat Quartet at Ryedale Festival, THE PRESS, July 21, 2016

"...the lament which closes that quartet, with the players forming two answering duos, was exquisitely rendered, as was the elegiac final quartet with its irredeemably bleak conclusion..." Bartók's six string quartets at Wigmore Hall, THE INDEPENDENT, May 14, 2016

"This is music both daunting and profoundly satisfying for listeners and players alike, yet the Heaths took all the difficulties in their stride, performing with fierce intelligence and feeling, passion and virtuosity." - Bartók's six string quartets at Wigmore Hall, THE TELEGRAPH, May 14, 2016

"Although it was organized at the last minute, there was nothing improvised about this musical event. Obviously, violinists Oliver Heath and Cerys Jones, Gary Pomeroy violist and cellist Christopher Murray had thoroughly prepared their material. At the same time their interpretations emerged with an impression of freshness, spontaneity and novelty." - Haydn, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky at Raoul-Jobin Hall, LE SOLEIL, February 5, 2016

Tippett: String Quartets CD Review - Live performance recordings at Wigmore Hall, THE GUARDIAN, January 17, 2016

“[The Heath Quartet] provided just the right combination of acoustic richness and focus for the foursome’s equally rich, focused and enthusiastic programme.“   -Beethoven, Bartok and Schumann at Lammermuir Festival, THE SCOTSMAN, September 20, 2014

“Heath Quartet, a talented British group on its first U.S. tour... plays with a winsome blend of impetuosity and discipline. In matters of basic quartet grooming, they are well-nigh impeccable... The musicians were always aware of the principal voice and balanced their parts accordingly and unobtrusively, giving the overall texture a rare cleanliness.“   - Recital at the Phillips Collection, THE WASHINGTON POST, April 14, 2014

“The Heath Quartet‘s performances underlined, in both the Schubert and the Beethoven, the interior, discreet qualities the two composers embedded in their pieces: Schubert doesn‘t always sing, and Beethoven doesn‘t always shout. Schubert scurried quietly while Beethoven‘s quartet almost epitomised quiet restlessness, until the catharsis of his energetic finale.“   - Schubert, Mendelssohn and Beethoven, HERALD SCOTLAND, December 9, 2013

“They found a particular tone-colour [in Tippett‘s First Quartet] that seemed just right for the music, springy yet soft-edged, and they showed how the sudden hesitations and interruptions are really a bottling-up of ecstasy that eventually gets released. Finally came Tippett’s great Third Quartet, which can surely stand beside Britten’s quartets, or anybody else’s. Its wonderful slow movement was sustained by the Heath Quartet with amazing, rapt intensity, and the pinpoint focus and swinging energy they brought to the final fugue was simply dazzling.“   - Tippett String Quartet, Wigmore Hall, THE TELEGRAPH, December 6, 2013

“The Heath Quartet played [Tippett‘s] First and Third Quartets here, seizing on the lyric moments as they emerged from the passages of densely worked counterpoint, and shaping all the fugal writing with great skill. It was absorbing to hear all this music live again.“   - Tippett String Quartet, Wigmore Hall, THE GUARDIAN, December 4, 2013

“The Heath Quartet players supported [Anna Caterina Antonacci] with refinement, drawing out all the subtlety of Respighi‘s expert writing; earlier, they contributed a witty account of Hugo Wolf‘s Italian Serenade and a delicate one of another elegiac study, Puccini‘s Crisantemi.“   - Wigmore Hall w/ Antonacci, THE GUARDIAN, May 10, 2013

The Heath gave us all the wit and mercurial inventiveness you‘d expect from Haydn and they played with a really engaging sense of interplay and they didn‘t overprotect in this ideal space. It was lovely to hear playing that had a genuine intimacy about it... And I shall certainly be looking out for more from the Heath Quartet, they‘re clearly a group with a big future (and a busy one judging by their website‘s calendar). And it‘s nice to see four musicians who utterly dispel the idea that classical music is somehow backward looking or fogey-ish: they look good too!   - London‘s Royal Institution, James Jolly, GRAMOPHONE, October 23, 2012

"The delicate perfection of the sound was a marvel, and in leader Oliver Heath's hands the recurring dropping figure had an exquisite tenderness."   - Wigmore Hall, with Stephen Hough, Ivan Hewett for THE TELEGRAPH, March 9, 2012

"If the Haydn slow movement had been heavenly, so was the truly inspired, time-stopping playing in Beethoven's Adagio, the most impressive part of an exceptional evening."   - Haydn, Janacek, Beethoven, THE PERTHSHIRE ADVERTISER, January 20, 2012

"Their account of Beethoven's Quartet in E flat, Op 74 (Harp) was suavity itself, and they found the true note of hushed ominousness for Schubert's haunted A minor ‘Rosamunde‘ Quartet (D804)."   - Beethoven, Schubert, Lucas Bedford at Wigmore Hall, THE SUNDAY TIMES, January 15, 2012

"Here the Heath Quartet's prayerful concentration really paid off in a performance of unforced beauty and tremulous tension, dappled with sudden shadows and anguished nostalgia for happier times. Each player listened closely to each other; each fell in with Schubert's feelings as a hand fits the perfect glove."   - Beethoven, Schubert, Lucas Bedford at Wigmore Hall, THE TIMES, January 3, 2012

"The subtlety of the first violin's playing as it floated radiantly to the end of Bedford's piece also distinguished the other works on the programme...overall, an enterprising evening."   - Beethoven, Schubert, Lucas Bedford at Wigmore Hall, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, January 3, 2012