Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Elliott Miles McKINLEY (b. 1969)
String Quartet No. 4 [22:14]
String Quartet No. 5 [15:12]
String Quartet No. 6 [26:13]
Martinů Quartet - Petr Macecek (violin), Lubomir Havlak (violin), Jan Jisa (viola), Jitka Vlasánková (cello)
rec. November 2001, December 2005, February 2010, Studio Martinek, Prague, Czech Republic. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

Elliott Miles McKinley is a prolific American composer influenced by jazz and jazz idioms. Currently Chair of the Department of Music and Assistant Professor of Music and Informatics at Indiana University East - with whose support this well-presented CD was produced - he has worked with a large number of ensembles and orchestras. These include the Martinů Quartet, who both commissioned these string quartets, and gave their first performances.

The music on this CD - which also has the booklet, all three scores and slim supplementary material available electronically in a dedicated Flash PDF reader - is unadventurous when compared with other ground being broken and covered in the medium. 'Swing', smooth lines and gently syncopated rhythms are more important to the composer. On the other hand, McKinley does introduce more variety than at first might be apparent … quartets 4 and 6 each have four movements, but number five is in three parts - with six, two and four short movements (only one is longer than three minutes) each. These allow the tempi to vary and some interest to be kept up; the marking 'With a Touch of Swagger' is still typical, although there are several gentle and sensitive slow movements.

Significantly, though, McKinley is highly competent at the many ways in which material can be extended from an initial, simple, melodic and harmonic cell or gesture. Then there is some exciting use of rhythm - notably in the sixth quartet. Some of the melodies are marginally memorable; but tend to sound the same and rely on similar techniques for impact.

One often has the feeling, too, that some of the core techniques of string quartet writing are set aside in the interests of overlong passages of jazzy unison writing. Subtleties of harmony, alternating articulations - though the end of the fifth uses pizzicato widely - and truly subtle development of themes and texture which exploit the differences and similarities between the three instruments' textures and registers seem to be of less interest to McKinley than pulse, drive and rubato. Nor are many of the ideas or ways in which McKinley has arranged his material innovative or really very ear-catching.

The playing of the Martinů Quartet is convincing, committed and aims fully to express and endorse McKinley's highly accessible idiom. The acoustic is dry but conducive to presenting in the best light what, frankly, is somewhat mediocre and unexceptional music. Imagine how Milhaud, Copland and Bernstein might have collaborated on a string quartet with Piazzolla playing in the background, each composer fending off discarded pages from Paul Bunyan. Add to this that each might secretly have sneaked a look while the others weren't paying attention. No one dares depart from the formula which the others apparently felt safest with. With all this in mind you'll appreciate what this collection has to offer.

Mark Sealey












































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.