Reviews

Christopher Grier in The Scotsman
These [songs] were startling, for they cultivated the idiom, manner and even clichés of pre-Hugo Wolff lieder, tuneful, consonant, and furnished with thick, throbbing accompaniments. The best of them were three untitled treatments of Christina Rossetti’s romantic song-scapes…

Susan Nickalls in The Scotsman
…the simple but effective melodies captured the essence of Rossetti’s verses… 

Gordon Rumson on Music & Vision Daily internet music magazine
This work [Stay, stay Sweet Time], which might have been composed by a student of Parry or Stanford 100 years ago is still beautiful. It inhabits a world of music in which Schoenberg, Webern, Boulez, Stockhausen and Cage never existed. I don’t think that is a bad thing, though some might be put off by the retroactivity of the music. I found that listening to the choral music while reading the text enhanced my appreciation for its beauties.

Patric Standford on Music and Vision Daily internet music magazine
[Arditti is] a latter-day contemporary of the rich crop of English composers flourishing in the 1880s, Sullivan, Smyth, Somervell… Quartet No 1… suggests Dvorâk in three short and rather sombre movements before a bright finale. The best of Quartet No 2 (Op 31) is a set of variations on ‘an invented folk-song’ not too far distant from Thomas Moore’s famous Last Rose, and of the six variations, the fourth is an appealing and clever bit of rhythmic invention.

Christopher Thomas on Musicweb

…there is a genuine sense of personal sincerity and honesty in the way the composer communicates… The moderato second movement [String Quartet no 2] in particular shows moments of touching charm. The basic elements however are the same, four classically styled movements, this time culminating in a set of “Variations on an Invented Folk-song”; very much in the style of the air-varié and possibly with faint reminiscences of Scottish folk song. The result is effective and demonstrates considerable imagination in the treatment of the theme. Making acquaintance with these quartets is a somewhat surreal listening experience and depending on your stance I suspect that the music will either be loved or hated with little room for indifference in the middle. Arditti is clearly resolute and unashamed in his compositional path however and has to be applauded for writing what I believe comes very much from the heart. The melodies are warm and in some cases undeniably attractive…

Carson P. Cooman, US composer 
There was a standing ovation after the last chord of My Nanie O [Burns Songs, Op. 1] had stopped ringing. ‘Why can’t there be more music like that?’ was the question that many people asked.