Beethoven liked to keep his supporters sweet – so when a Russian prince asked him to write a quartet, he rounded it off with a flying, foot-stamping Russian dance. And that’s just the climax of this extraordinary masterpiece: a quartet as punchy and as powerful as any symphony. First, though, we meet some genuine Russians: the brisk, glittering wit of Igor Stravinsky, Shostakovich’s blend of deep emotion and pitch-black humour, and Borodin’s gloriously romantic Second Quartet. It’s so tuneful that one of its melodies actually made the pop charts in the 1950s…

Stravinsky 3 Pieces
Shostakovich Elegy and Polka
Borodin Quartet No 2 in D
Beethoven Quartet in F Op.59 No 1 Rasumovsky

For four decades here at the University of Warwick, the Coull Quartet has invited you to join them on that journey. This season their concerts will take you to Brazil, Hungary, France, and Soviet Russia; they’ll laugh, cry, and fall in love. There’s no emotion that can’t be expressed by a string quartet – and no string quartet commits to this music more deeply than the Coulls.