press coverage


"Gerard Cousins is a rare guitar player. A master of the classical idiom and the range of techniques which it demands. On The First Beat is the Last Sound, his fourth album since 2005, Cousins has reached a rarefied point where his stunning playing is matched by his artistic vision."
Acoustic Magazine

"Beautiful playing and subtle phrasing"
Musical Opinion

"Gerard Cousins displays his acute artistic and technical prowess...passionate, profound...with a great range of tone from his instrument"
Classical Guitar

"Thank you for such a fine, three-dimensional performance of the PAVAN -- all the lines and colours and passion. What a welcome opening into its performance history!" 
Hilary Tann (Composer of "A Sad Pavan Fourbidding Mourning" from the CD Hiraeth)

"Wonderfully atmospheric and expressive playing - and a superbly idiomatic arrangement."
Gareth Glyn (Composer of "Olwyn Ddwr" from the CD Hiraeth)

"Gerard delivered a show that was not only emotionally touching but that also showed the amazing talent of this guitarist...This concert was definitely one of the highlights of this years Cornerstone Arts Festival." Michael Veit Liverpool Hope University

"We congratulate you on your performances. I appreciate your
kind words about my father's music and wish you continued success with his
works. We will be sure to follow your career with great interest."
Cecilia Rodrigo - Daughter of composer Joaquin Rodrigo

"One of Wales's leading classical guitarists"  Western Mail

"From the opening notes it was obvious this concert was going to be special. The pure sounds of the unamplified guitar reverberated around the room. As Gerard demonstrated his considerable technique..." Brecon and Radnor Express 

"What is immediately noticeable...is how Gerard lets the phrases really "breathe"- a testament to his musical and technical ability...to realise a great array of expressive and dynamic range within his playing...it's these features which really characterise his playing throughout this release." www.classical-guitar-news.co.uk

"Guitar magic...he has a beautiful touch" Frank Hennesey, BBC Radio Wales

"Gerard Cousins...Star of the Six Strings." El Peruano (Lima, Peru) 

Music Web International review of the CDs 'Hiraeth' and 'A Gift':

Tros y Garreg instantly engages with the listener in 
its melancholy slow beauty. Similarly winning, with its pensive 
progress, is Gwahoddiad. In both pieces it may be my 
failure of imagination but the music shifts in flavour between 
Cambrian harp evocation and in-character Iberia. The music is 
restful without being bland. I loved the rustle and breeze shiver 
of the start of the Fantasia on Ar Lan y Mor. There is 
more tremble and hush in this work than the other two. At times 
this Fantasia is not that distant from Myers’ Deerhunter 
music. David of the White Rock is heard in a virtuosic 
arrangement. Grace Williams’ plangent and subtly-toned Hiraeth 
has been arranged from its harp original. It is memorable for 
its inconstant shifting motion: subtle and lissom. Amanda's 
Delight 
pleasingly fuses elements of baroque and cool jazz. 
Tomkins' short verse ‘drips’ slowly. Hilary Tann has taken quotes 
from Tomkins' A Sad Pavan for these Distracted Tymes and 
woven three extracts from it into her A Sad Pavan. There 
is, about this, a forbidding sense of mourning in which the 
intervening gaps between notes are beautifully calculated to 
allow the guitar sound to decay and fall. Gareth Glynn's orchestral 
works have appeared on various light music collections over 
the years. His Olwyn Ddwyr is from his suite for solo 
harp, Child's Play. It is angular and spare - more objective 
than its disc companions here. It is not lured by the sentiment 
of the other tracks. The piece by Cardiff-based Simon Thorne 
weaves silence and sometimes dry sounds to make this the most 
unusual of the works here as well as almost the longest original 
composition featured. Written originally for cello it is obsessive, 
chiming with muted resonance. The nagging Teifi's Dream 
is not self-indulgent but is delicate and elusive,. It ends 
52 minutes of the most beautiful playing. 
There is a reviving freshness about these arrangements and it's 
far distant from the Welsh equivalent of tartanry.

The other disc - A Gift - alights on various compositions 
for guitar from the widest international span. Yoshimatsu might 
be known to you from his various orchestral discs issued by 
Chandos. Wind Color Vector is restful and betokens calm 
through the carillon clarity of the guitar. It's a lovely piece 
and part of a larger sonata (Wind, Water and Sky). Canticle 
is in much the same pulse-stilling vein. 
The guitarist’s own Elystan or Noblestone relates 
to the image of an ancient lone stone which has seen so much 
down the ages but which cannot recount what it has witnessed. 
It reminded me at times of the equally compelling and attractive 
Fantasia on Alan y Mor on the Hiraeth disc. 
Cousins’ July 18 is a study of odd time-groupings - very 
sparse and quiet and ruffled with flurries of sound. A Gift 
by Robert Jacob was salved by Cousins from Jacob's computer 
after the composer’s untimely death in 2005. Silence, calm and 
internal peace are the order of the day. Tavener's Chant 
is simple and repetitive, leaving the player scope to explore 
and voice the melody. Brouwer’s Hika in Memoriam Takemitsu 
and the Turnage piece are more angular and testing. 
Two discs here from the guitarist Gerard Cousins: one with a 
restful Wales as its focus and the other a tangy and provocative 
mix of contemporary pieces.  Rob Barnett