The Wire

British composer Poole, in his 50s, now gets the first CD devoted entirely to his music. Its high quality shows how arbitrary recording exposure can be. Poole often likes to think of the piano as a set of drums, as on “The Impersonal Touch” for two pianos, where one pianist explores minimalist processes while the other rhapsodises. “Septembral” for the Gemini ensemble is turbulently expressive. But the highlight is String Quartet No. 3, in a live recording by the Lindsay Quartet, who – the composer claims – regard him as an “instrumental sadist”. They’ll also know that such sadism is necessary to obtain the remarkable sounds and textures with which this Quartet is suffused. Its aim was to capture an imaginary “Old English” soundworld and despite the fact that it can’t do so by purely musical references and contains no Anglo-Saxon lyrics, it miraculously convinces. The air of magic and mystery is sustained by a totally original use of form and sonority – menacing rustlings, pizzicato whisperings and col legno clicks. An extraordinary disc.

—Unknown reviewer