On the Overgrown Path

Our first CD featuring
music of the 20th Century from
Eastern Europe


The York Guitar Quartet continues to push the quartet repertoire into new territory with this collection of original compositions and arrangements.

Landscape with Trees

Our most recently released CD
featuring exciting new compositions
for Guitar Quartet


CD Reviews (Landscape With Trees)

About Waves Obsidian: It sounds great! There's a warmth, elegance, and musicality to the York Guitar Quartet's arrangement and performance that elevates the piece beyond what I'd originally conceived. Thank you for recording Waves Obsidian, it's a tremendous honour to have my piece included on Landscape with Trees (2017).
Harry Stafylakis
‚ÄčComposer-in-Residence, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra‚Äč; Co-curator, Winnipeg New Music Festival; Adjunct Lecturer, City College of New York

About Landscape With Trees: What an absolute pleasure to hear my music played by the YGQ on this new recording. It is as though all the excitement, passion and emotional phrasing from one of their excellent live concerts has been captured ... Everything about this performance shouts - in a musical way, of course - expression, musicianship and total insight into my written pages of manuscript. Truly an auditory delight for the senses - mine and, I'm sure, everyone else's (2017).
Peter Byrom-Smith - Composer of 'Landscape with Trees'

CD Reviews (on The Overgrown Path)

"I know of (no other guitar ensemble release) with a less clichéd repertoire."
"the Bartok arrangements.... are wonderful and performed with great style." (Richard Wright - Musician September 1999)

"The York Guitar Quartet consists of an acoustic bass, a requinto, a tenor and one player doubling between requinto and tenor. This rather specialist line-up therefore necessitates that much music is arranged. However, this is no bad thing when the quality of the music is as here. The sound is rich and full, if a little 'echoey' and the acoustic bass in particular makes a considerable impact.

Now if you like your Bartok in small doses, which I am afraid I do, then fear not! Most of the three sets represented here show Bartok at his most approachable. The Three Rondos on Folk Tunes have some great moments. It is music that in the end sounds right in this idiom and does not sound arranged. The Eight Pieces for Children are short and heavily based on folk melodies. In their original format, they are eminently playable by children and yet written in such a style that they can appreciate them as well. The playing here is colourful and the pieces imaginatively arranged. The Six Dances on Bulgarian Rhythm from Mikrokosmos are tougher harmonically, but sound equally good here.

The Janacek suite, in ten movements, is mostly lyrical and approachable, and ideally suited to the sound of guitars. Highlights included the opening of Our Evenings and the third movement Come with Us! The darker elements later on in the suite are nicely caught.

The Stravinsky Suites were surprisingly arranged by the composer for, among other things, a bandurria quartet. They therefore comfortably moved to the present arrangement as done by Andrew Forrest, the quartet's requinto and tenor player. This is Stravinsky wearing his neo-classical guise and as such the music is melodic with occasional pungent chords and offbeat accents, as only he could do.

So if you like the selection of pieces here, then you will be happy with the present recording. It is refreshing to come across arrangements that sound like the originals."
(Chris Dumigan - Classical Guitar - November 1999)

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Press Reviews

"....Poulenc's Suite Francaise, the quartet producing a surprising range of expression from bold, brassy sonorities to the quietest pianissimo which brought an almost profound stillness to the audience." (Classical Guitar)

"It was a tribute to the musicianship of the York Guitar Quartet's members that the radical reduction in scale involved in some of these arrangements did not by any means destroy the quality or charm of the originals." (Robin Butterfield, Yorkshire Evening Press)

"..... a group that is growing in stature at each appearance" (Martin Dreyer, Yorkshire Evening Press)