Matthew Hindson’s latest work, String Quartet No 4 for string quartet and percussion, has been toured throughout Australia by the Australian String Quartet and virtuoso percussionist Claire Edwardes. This followed their successful tour of his String Quartet No 3: Ngeringa in 2015. Born out of the promise of new beginnings, Hindson was commissioned by the newly re-formed Australian String Quartet, and dedicated the work to his one-year-old daughter Mabel. The two-movement, 20-minute composition has been deemed a modern triumph by critics, set to become ‘a classic of the genre’.
'For the purist, the idea of pairing a string quartet with — shock, horror — a vibraphone might seem a sacrilege.
But, courtesy of Matthew Hindson’s extraordinary creative skill and imagination, this odd coupling made for frankly fascinating listening as his String Quartet No. 4 unfolded on this world-premiere tour.
Played on a set of superb Guadagnini instruments, from which the players drew streams of striking, grainy-toned sound, we listened, too, to its antithesis: a haze of far-gentler, pinging tones which Claire Edwardes coaxed from the vibraphone. On paper, it might seem a recipe for sonic indigestion. In practice, it worked wonderfully.
Yet another impressive offering from one of Australia’s most insightful and original composers, this work surely deserves a place in the international chamber music repertoire…
This was an evening to remember for all the best reasons.'
The West Australian(Neville Cohn), 15 March 2016
‘It’s a shame the Hindson was not programmed to bring the curtain down, because it was spectacularly inspirational and well worth the price of the admission ticket alone. The packed audience witnessed the birth of what is destined to become a classic of the genre.’
The Barefoot Review (Kyn Clayton), 29 February 2016
‘What boisterous fun it proved though. Hindson pits the vibraphone and strings up against each other and combines them in various ways to create jazzy sounds and rolling, glistening arpeggios that flew along like a steam train.’
The Australian (Graham Strathle), 2 March 2016
'The combination of the vibes and strings is a rare and wonderful sound to experience, and the opening passages were exhilarating, with the extraordinary expertise of all the performers stunningly displayed. The huge reverberations of the vibraphone were, at times, bouncing off the walls, and at others, adding sensitive statements to the beautiful harmonies of the strings.'
The Clothesline (Nikki Fort), 1 March 2016
'An attractive work in Hindson’s complex, yet accessible style, it’s less spikey than the Third, but no less engaging for that. The quartet is divided into two movements. Flourishes on the strings interspersed with mini-tattoos on percussion led into a winning strathspey-type rhythmic section with melodic undercurrent on vibes. A wild dancing section with percussion glittering over the top was a real toe-tapper and Edwardes was superb throughout (whichever end of the sticks she was required to play with). A page turn later and the warm slow movement was underway, its slightly jazzy vibe offset with a folkish theme on strings. A tribute to the composer’s daughter born last year (another new beginning), it’s a lovely meditation and featured some fine solos for all five players before closing on an ethereal final cadence.'
Limelight Magazine (Clive Paget), 2 March 2016 
'A vigorous first movement, with virtuoso vibes and strident string ripostes fades, giving way to a gentle persuasive follow-up, underpinned by a rocking figure suggesting a lullaby; but no baby would dare sleep for fear of missing the next interesting bit. Reluctantly, she succumbs, charmed as are we all.'
The Adelaide Advertiser (Elizabeth Silsbury), 3 March 2016