Radius / Purcell Room, October 2009 - Classical Music magazine
"...verve and ear-catching musicianship"
This review is from Classical Music, December 2009, in which Mrs Lazarus was "Premiere of the Year", and is by Andrew Stewart.
Those familiar with the eternal mantra "classical music is dead", will appreciate the need for a strongly contrasting counter-subject. Tim Benjamin, whose Oxford doctoral thesis and congruent book deal with the economics of new music, clearly has the energy and vision required to inject fresh life into the art form. He made his mark as winner of the 1993/94 BBC Young Musician of the Year Composer's Award, before scooping a Stephen Oliver Trust prize soon after for his first opera. Benjamin's chamber ensemble, Radius, came into being in 2007 and has done its bit since to promote new work with verve and ear-catching musicianship.
Radius was on top form for its Purcell Room outing last October, by turns exuberantly eloquent and eloquently exuberant in Webern's arrangement of Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony. Their world premiere reading of Benjamin's Mrs Lazarus spoke volumes for the combined imaginative powers of composer and performers, the former responding with carefully calculated restraint in his setting of Carol Ann Duffy's eponymous poem. Soprano Danae Eleni, subtle in her shading of words and always alive to the poet's song of mourning and memory, revealed the rich theatrical component of Benjamin's score as an ensemble player, holding the stage persuasively as soloist without parting from her colleagues in the band. Mrs Lazarus certainly deserves to rise again.
Radius / Purcell Room, October 2009 - Musical Opinion
This review is from Musical Opinion, January 2010. The author has written further about the concert on his blog.
Tim Benjamin's Radius ensemble comprises some of Britains most decorated young new music performers, and since its début in 2007 the group has become known for its polished recitals of contemporary and 20th-century repertoire. For their latest Purcell Room appearance, Radius flanked a major new piece by Benjamin, Mrs Lazarus, with early works by Berg and Schoenberg, drawing together old and new incarnations of expressionism.
Mrs Lazarus is a setting of Carol Ann Duffy's poem, the story of a widow haunted by her dead husband as she seeks solace with a new lover. Benjamin is making a speciality of semi-staged music theatre works, and Mrs Lazarus - directed by Lewis Reynolds - was a particularly successful example. The staging was extremely light, with piano, violin, cello, flute and clarinet placed in a square around the soprano, Danae Eleni, who had a license to move as she wished. I was especially struck by the instrumental prologue, which seemed to encage the vocalist before she had even had a chance to sing. Some of the coloristic effects recalled horror movie soundtracks, but the overall impression remained suitably spooky. At the crucial point where the poem shifts from past to present tense Benjamin's fluid writing locked into tense, even phrases, like becoming suddenly aware of ones own breath.
Of the older pieces, the Schoenberg was well played, although I felt that its more conventionally romantic idiom took the performers off their interpretative toes, but Bergs opus 1 Piano Sonata was given a spacious and detailed reading by John Reid that brought out the full range of Bergs harmonic distortions with breathtaking clarity.
Tim Rutherford-Johnson / Musical Opinion
Radius at Wigmore Hall, June 2009
Stephen Graham / Musical Criticism
"The performance engaged throughout"
"A strong end to an eclectic and often captivating concert"
This is an extract from a longer review which can be read in full here.
... Radio Music proved to be hors doeuvres for the meat of the second half, the world premiere of Tim Benjamin's tightly conceived narrative piece for actor and five musicians, A Dream Of England. Raymond Blankenhorn as the young Charles Darwin recited/performed passages of text from Darwins journals and collected letters dating from the naturalists five year journey around (primarily) Southern America on the H.M.S Beagle. The quintet of musicians (the four mentioned thus far with Watts now on bass clarinet, and an assured Adam Walker on flute) supplied commentary and contrast sometimes behind the voice, but most often between the paragraphs of text.
The performance engaged throughout; ... Blankenhorn proved charming. He was interesting and interested without ever being too forward in the characterisation. The music was the most impressive we'd heard all night. The pungent repeating figures in piano and winds gave a flinty edge to the musical annotations, whilst the performers were full of poise and purpose. Benjamin maintained a variety in the form which ensured the work kept its hold to the end: often the music slyly undercut or simply remained calmly neutral from Darwins blithe statements about the instrumentality of animals, or his elegantly imperial attitudes to indigenous tribes and to slavery (casual, kind but oh so self-rewardingly noble). At crucial points however Benjamin shook off this neutral approach and inserted himself into the text. To whit: the music suddenly becomes quiescent and brutal after a particular cruelty regarding a condor bird is announced, or at the end, wonderfully, when Darwin glories in British Civilisation rising up to the full glory of its destiny, and the music sardonically steams up a scale in mordant majesty. A strong end to an eclectic and often captivating concert.
Stephen Graham / Musical Criticism
Radius in Seen And Heard / Music Web International, May 2008
"A memorable performance, which appealed musically, dramatically and intellectually"
"An outstanding concert"
This was a well balanced programme of new works for chamber ensemble, ably performed by Radius in which I was most looking forward to the performance of George Crumb's Eleven Echoes of Autumn. Composed in spring 1966, the work is formed of eleven sections which follow on continuously from one to another, and is scored for alto flute, clarinet, violin and piano. With the stage illuminated in a soft light, this was an atmospheric rendition from beginning to end. There was some particularly wonderful playing from violinist Alexandra Wood (including an extremely impressive passage of perfectly in tune whistling and playing) and pianist John Reid. The flute and clarinet were required to play certain passages into the piano to use the instrumentís resonance; here, the clarinet was highly successful, with powerful resonances creating a magical effect, although the flute did not seem to get far enough into the piano to allow the technique to work in the same way. This is a theatrical and dramatic piece, which draws the listener in. As one audience member said, it makes you feel that you have to listen actively, in case you miss something. This was a gripping and emotive performance which lived up to my expectations.
The programme contained two works by Radiusís founder and director, Tim Benjamin. A Guess-Me-Knot was a well constructed quartet for flute, bass clarinet, violin and cello. Taking a three note motif as a basis, the music formed a maze of interweaving lines which combined with, and contrasted each other with much success. Pairs were formed between flute and bass clarinet, and violin and cello, featuring high string harmonics, rhythmic unisons and an excellent use of repetition to unify the work. There was an first-rate sense of ensemble (although there were some moments of minor intonational discomfort between the winds) and Benjamin used the forces available to full effect.
The Rosenhan Experiment is a music theatre work for countertenor and piano, which tells the story of an experiment conducted by David Rosenhan in 1972, into the validity and reliability of psychiatric diagnosis.
The scene is set by ominous and sombre repeated piano notes, interspersed with lush harmonic chords, which had a sense of being emotionally charged. As the narrator asks "can the sane be distinguished from the insane?" the tone is distinctly dark. Benjamin uses one singer as both doctor and patient, narrating the part of the doctor and singing the patient's role. The contrast between the spoken voice and the high pitch of the countertenorís sung range further accentuates the difference, while providing an underlying sense that all is not well; in this strange psychological world, deeper meanings prevail, and the parallels with the schizophrenic diagnosis were strong. One small grumble; Robert Ogdenís diction was not as clear when singing as when speaking (perhaps as would be expected), and as a result of the constant changes from one to the other, it was sometimes hard to follow the sung text (it should be said that the libretto was provided for the audience, but the lighting in the hall meant that it could not be read during the performance).
Otherwise, though, this was an excellent work, performed convincingly. The stage action was simple and effective, and the acting was good, maintaining the flow in what was essentially a static scenario. Mention should also be made of the brilliant piano writing; John Reid played continuously throughout the workís substantial duration, at times the centre of the musical attention and at other times blending gently into the background of the action. This is an fine work, full of impact, which deserves future performances. Benjamin handles the subject matter with intelligent consideration, raising probing questions about the treatment of the mentally ill. There is just the right balance of humour to offset the seriousness of the subject matter, without a hint of becoming flippant. This was a memorable performance, which appealed musically, dramatically and intellectually - look out for more performances.
The remaining two works in the programme were Birtwistle's Lied and Adès's Catch. For me, the least successful of these from a compositional perspective was the Birtwistle, which seemed a little disjointed despite both players giving a musical and at times poetic performance, which reached far beyond the technical. This was an assured presentation, with excellent communication between the players. Adès' Catch is a humour-filled work which featured Charys Green, Radius's clarinet player, in a highly accomplished performance. Complete with quotes from nursery rhymes, the players of the ensemble are required to entice the errant clarinettist (who plays from around the hall, as well as crossing the stage several times) to join them. With some excellent instrumental effects (including some wonderful cello pizzicato on the 'wrong' side of the bridge), this was the final work in an outstanding concert.
Carla Rees (Music Web International, May 2008)
Radius in the Gazette and Herald, 24th June 2008
"Brilliant musicality, an immense display of technical prowess"
It wouldn't be Corsham Festival without something you've never heard before, can't quite understand, daren't miss a note and at the end over a glass of wine wonder really what you've heard.
Nor should it be.
Radius did all sorts of things: clarinet and flute, with backs to the audience, for instance, played actually into the piano (without, it has to be said, any perceivable difference). Interesting. But there was some brilliant musicality, an immense display of technical prowess and, though he has much to learn in the professional world, an elegant textured cello from Oliver Coates.
They gave the world premiere [This was not actually the world premiere - that took place on 25th May 2008 at the Purcell Room - ed.] of A Guess-Me-Knot, written a few months ago by Tim Benjamin, who was present to share the plaudits with the players. Like much else on the evening's agenda, it was an immensely challenging piece; and, again like much else, is something I'd like to hear again - probably in many years' time.
Reg Burnurd (The Gazette and Herald, June 2008)
The Guardian, September 2007
"Corley's story is one that needs to be told, and it is told using music that needs to be listened to. If you're in London, if you're listening, go."
There's someone out there, listening to me. I know it. You don't believe me, but it's true.
Thus might a composer well address a concerned friend or parent.
On this occasion, however, the speaker was Michael Corley, a man whose surveillance conspiracy theory occupied several corners of Usenet in the early 1990s. Collecting a small community of correspondents, ranging from credulous and sympathetic to downright sarcastic, the paranoid Corley issued frequent postings about the personal insults allegedly levelled at him by newsreaders, radio presenters and random members of the public. Strangest of all, these ill-wishers seemed to Corley to be privy to the goings-on in his apartment. His television watched him back. His radio listened to him. But no one could find the bugs.
The true story of the unfortunate Corley has been made into an opera, or rather semi-opera, by the composer Tim Benjamin. Having retrieved acres of Corley correspondence from Google's Usenet archives, Benjamin and his librettist Sean Starke have crafted a dialogue in which Corley's rantings and the responses of his correspondents, identified on stage only by their clunky, early 90s-style email addresses (or in one case, as the sinister, disembodied, "email protected") form a well-defined dramatic arc. Corley sits centre stage, hidden behind a desk crammed with recording paraphernalia and his computer. His face is projected, close-up, on a giant screen, while the other characters sit aside, blinking under harsh lights.
Operas have always been about key societal myths. From Orfeo and the myth of the transcendence of the human condition through art, to La Traviata and the idea that patriarchal society is both undermined and redeemed through its "fallen" women, operas have provided culture with one of its clearest and most powerful mirrors, if also one of its most highly gilded. In the present case, the myth of universal surveillance and the slow crushing of individual autonomy by the security services is one of the most persistent, prominent and most necessarily examined of our age.
At worst, of course, the surveillance myth - as expressed, for instance, in our country's idiotic mistrust of identity cards - is simply a bathetic attempt to accord our actions and thoughts with a greater significance than they possess. On the flipside, however, society's collective paranoia can be read as a protest against a deeper, more real collapse of freedom through the atrophying of the collective imagination, the fracturing of community and the commodification of every last shade in our emotional spectrum. The idea of freedom has no meaning when the market for action has bottomed out.
Quite perfect, then, that a story about the profound, dehumanising suffering of a sad little man should be set to music. For there is no art better suited to portraying the fracturing of mankind's relation to its social environment than the astringent tones of post-tonal classical music. Its broken, cracked lyricism speaks more profoundly to contemporary humanity than any other artform. Or it would, if there were anyone listening.
Every year, opera houses spend millions of pounds redressing the great works of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, fine-tuning their musical mythologising to today's audiences. This is great work, work that's necessary to impose a little clarity on our hoarding, bag-lady culture.
But it would be good, too, if a little more of this money went on new works, using new music to address the myths we urgently need to confront today.
In the meantime, Corley's story is one that needs to be told, and it is told using music that needs to be listened to. The last performance is tonight. If you're in London, if you're listening, go.
Guy Dammann (The Guardian, September 2007)
Classical Music, December 2007
"The performance by the young contemporary music ensemble Radius was exceptionally assured"
The Corley Conspiracy by Tim Benjamin and Sean Starke is a piece of music theatre set in the world of Usenet, a precursor of today's internet blogs and chatrooms. The 75-minute drama, which was premiered in September in the Purcell Room, is based on the real-life messages posted there during the mid-nineties by one Mike Corley.
Obsessed with the idea that he is the target of sinister messages embedded in radio broadcasts and other everyday events, his posts demonstrate a paranoia that his co-users cannot fathom. Unsure whether he is mad, a prankster or the perpetrator of some anthropological experiment of which they are the subjects, their responses to his posts veer from concern to frustration to derision at Corley's increasingly byzantine ramblings.
The written words of the various characters are not sung, but spoken by actors, the music coming in the form of a score for chamber ensemble. Punctuating the unfolding story, the music acts both to enhance the events on stage and to provide an accompaniment to our own questioning of them - a neat psychological effect. Benjamin's compact yet atmospheric music helps turn what is nowadays a common activity (reading messages from strangers on the internet) into something much more compelling.
The performance by the young contemporary music ensemble Radius was exceptionally assured, as befits a group of individuals capable of dashing off solo works by Berio, Simon Holt, Xenakis and Cage (as they did in the first half of the evening). It's certainly a piece worth seeing, and I hope there are plans to perform it again.
Toby Deller (Classical Music, 22nd December 2007)
SPNM New Notes, May 2007
"An enviable assortment of gifted young players ... this concert was brilliantly executed and conceived."
"The superbly individual performance of Benjamin's piano prelude by Berenika ... thundering and taut playing threatened a virtuosic violence."
"Benjamin's quirky series of bagatelles ... this judicious musical künstlerroman brought a welcome levity ... certainly something to smile about"
Radius are a new music group bringing together an enviable assortment of gifted young players. Following on from the ensemble's debut performance at the Wigmore Hall last week, this concert was brilliantly executed and conceived. Spearheaded by the composers Ian Vine and Tim Benjamin, who met whilst studying composition with Anthony Gilbert at the Royal Northern College of Music, Radius specialise in angular, serial, modernism played with commitment and intensity.
Vine's own underpaintings began the concert, its long decaying lines prompting some fine breath control from clarinettist Charys Green. Still more striking was the superbly individual performance of Benjamin's piano prelude by Berenika, whose thundering and taut playing threatened a virtuosic violence. Yet this was also a programme concerned with influence and lineage: the first half was completed by two rarely-performed works by Louis Andriessen and Anthony Gilbert. The latter's Moonfaring, which represents Australian tribal rites in a seven-movement work for cello and percussion, was particularly impressive. Adrian Spillett's sensitive marimba work combined with Oliver Coates' haunting phrases to create a performance that was both sonorous and plangent.
Another connection linking the various featured composers were their experiments with musical structures. Andriessen's piece for violin and piano follows the syllabic count of a Jan Engelman love poem, whilst John Cage's Five forgoes set instrumentation or rhythmic specificity for a series of held notes governed by mechanical time periods. Elliot Carter's Espirit Rude/Espirit Doux II for flute, clarinet and marimba takes its cue from the aspirated vowels of classical Greek. Throughout the programme, the performers coped well with the formal and logistical challenges such works present, none more so than Daniel Rowland in his heart-stopping interpretation of Berio's Sequenza VIII for solo violin.
Yet it was only in Benjamin's quirky series of bagatelles that the ensemble were finally united. Throughout this judicious musical künstlerroman, the players brought a welcome levity to the proceedings. On the evidence of these first concerts, all concerned certainly have something to smile about.
William May (New Notes, 2nd May 2007)
Radius in The Cherwell, May 2007
"Radius are the sum of a remarkable group of parts and demand to be listened to and engaged with"
"Cellist Oliver Coates' percussive, athletic bowing displays wonderful dexterity ... an overwhelming and sensuous experience"
"Benjamin's Five Bagatelles was most successful in embracing the 'New' ... a piece which continually eluded expectation"
"Radius neither attempt to associate themselves with trendy electronic fusion movements nor pander to the proles by sandwiching Mozart with Modern"
Walking into Britain's oldest concert hall, a swollen wadge of paper is thrust into my hand. Fat, burdensome programme notes are the norm for "experimental" or "modern" performances, and I wonder if Radius' chosen epithet "New" will mark them out as any different. Including a selection of works by 20th century masters, newly premiered works and pieces by slightly lesser known living composers, Radius neither attempt to associate themselves with trendy electronic fusion movements nor pander to the proles by sandwiching Mozart with Modern.
Anthony Gilbert's Moonfaring draws the audience into the tribal rites of spiritual evocation at one level removed; for this is the evocation of an evocation (bear with me) - a musical translation from Aboriginal to European classical instruments and ears. Cellist Oliver Coates emulates the dijeridoo with great precision, and his percussive, athletic bowing displays wonderful dexterity. Gilbert's aim to go beyond merely borrowing the musical expressions of another culture and to actually re-represent them in "western" terms is quite a challenge, but such issues are absorbed into what was an overwhelming and sensuous experience.
Of the most recent compositions, Radius director Tim Benjamin's Five Bagatelles was most successful in embracing the "New". A challenge to memory, imagination and aural perception, we were lost in a piece which continually eluded expectation. Including BBC "Young Musician of the Year" winner, percussionist Adrian Spillet, Radius are the sum of a remarkable group of parts and demand to be listened to and engaged with as more than an accompaniment to the weighty programme notes.
Cara Bleiman (The Cherwell, Friday 4 May 2007)
Radius in The Oxford Student, May 2007
"Delicate moments juxtaposed with some explosively extrovert performances"
"Very impressive performance ... brain-child of composer Tim Benjamin ... delivered fluently and never allowed to lose the mesmerising quality"
"Benjamin weaves engagingly pithy textures ... dramatic performances ... genuinely exciting"
The Holywell Music Room, which boasts a rich cultural history that pre-dates even Haydn's famous visit to Oxford in the late eighteenth century, hosted a very impressive performance on Wednesday from recently formed professional new music group Radius (www.radiusmusic.org). The ensemble - brain-child of composer Tim Benjamin, of Christ Church - aims to perform canonical twentieth century works as well as those by living composers and benefits from a maintaining a close working relationship between the composers and internationally acclaimed performers that form the full-time line-up. But how does the modern audience, which for the most part is better acquainted with works written at the time of the Holywell's creation, react to a concert of music which "does not sound like Haydn", as Louis Andriessen describes his featured work Tuin van Eros?
We were immediately drawn into the performance by the exposed and sparse musical texture that begins Ian Vine's underpaintings, as the composer depicts the dauntingly bare canvass of an early stage in the sketching of a painting. Such textures, as were also found in John Cage's Five, among other of works presented, were delivered fluently and were never allowed to lose their mesmerising quality, or to stagnate. The programme, which was well structured and varied, saw these delicate moments juxtaposed with some explosively extrovert performances. Daniel Rowland's rendition of Berio's Sequenza VIII for solo violin stood out as notably impressive as did Berenika's reliably dramatic performance of Benjamin's Prelude I, for solo piano, of which she was the original commissioner.
The finale to this nigh-infallibly performed programme was Benjamin's Five Bagatelles which, along with underpaintings, enjoyed its world premire only five days earlier at London's celebrated Wigmore Hall, at which Radius performed the same programme for their debut concert. Benjamin weaves engagingly pithy poly-stylistic textures whose surface disruptions work in a very different way to the inharmonious discussions near the beginning of Prelude I. Juggling these multiple styles and short formal units, Benjamin does not allow even the openly comic incongruity of the hymn tune in the fourth movement to disturb the continuity of the work. Movements four and five have the feel of a double epilogue after the climax in the third, and play on the expectation of having a climax at the end of the piece (and concert). Perhaps this indicates that Benjamin does not feel that the bagatelle need always be a resoundingly light-hearted affair; perhaps there is a deeper analogy to be found?
Those who attended both nights of Radius' mini-tour felt as though Wednesday's performance matched the grandeur of the Wigmore Hall concert, Anthony Gilbert describing the performance of his Moonfaring here as "very imaginative" and among the best he had ever heard. He had particularly high praise for the undeniably impressive sound that cellist Oliver Coates conjures.
Among the audience there was a relatively large number of established composers, performers, and students of new music and I could not help but wonder about the extent to which contemporary "classical" music is restricted to "preaching to the converted". I hope that engagingly dramatic performances such as Radius offer will challenge the all-too-prevalent general attitude towards this repertoire as merely character-building rather than genuinely exciting. Look out for Radius at their next concert, at London's Royal Festival Hall in September.
Mark Gotham (The Oxford Student, May 2007)
Radius in Seen And Heard / Music Web International, January 2008
"This was virtuosity in the extreme - and he made it seem easy"
"This was an excellent concert ... there was some first-rate playing"
This was an interesting evening, made up of a variety of contemporary works for chamber ensemble. Serving as a 50th birthday celebration for Simon Holt, tonight was the group's second performance at the Wigmore Hall.
The concert opened with the world premiere of Ian Vine's X, a percussion solo performed engagingly by Adrian Spillett. The piece opened atmospherically, with its understated quiet pulses ideally suited to the acoustic of the hall. A one movement work in four sections, the piece developed through timbral changes and increasing complexity. This was a hypnotic work, which was performed convincingly by Spillett.
This was followed by the brilliant Three Portraits by Radius' director and founder, Tim Benjamin. In homage to Elgar, these three short movements were described by the composer as ‘affectionate portraits of friends'. Unsurprisingly, these pieces were full of character and were refreshingly entertaining. Scored for violin, cello, horn and piano, Benjamin demonstrated considerable skill in his use of the instruments, balancing the horn carefully with the rest of the ensemble so that it never dominated unless intended to do so. The ensemble played better together here too, with the horn played with much sensitivity by Jocelyn Lightfoot. There was some wonderful team work between the violin and cello in the calmer central movement, with a decorative piano line performed with careful attention to balance. The final movement opened with an amusingly used quote from The Rite of Spring on the horn, with interrupted lines as all the parts battled for melodic supremacy. This was an excellent set of pieces and I would have liked more!
The opening of the second half was, for me, worth the cost of a ticket on its own. Cellist Oliver Coates performed Xenakis' solo work, Kottos. A highly demanding technical challenge, using many contemporary sounds and rhythmic complexity, Coates was always in control and full of charisma. This was a highly communicative performance, full of rich sonorities and musical integrity. Coates is a master of his instrument, who had me transfixed for the duration of the performance. This was virtuosity in the extreme – and he made it seem easy. He is, without a doubt, someone who has a dazzling career ahead of him.
Carla Rees (Music Web International, January 2008)
Radius in The Guardian, January 2008
Started last year by thirtysomething composers Tim Benjamin and Ian Vine, Radius are that rare thing these days, a brand-new ensemble devoted to contemporary music with no audio-visual gimmicks or crossover concessions to win easy popularity. Performance standards are very high, and the fact that Radius have managed to survive this long without receiving or asking for a penny of public subsidy is a minor miracle too.
This concert was built around an early 50th birthday salute to Simon Holt. Vine, who studied with Holt, had put together a sequence of five short celebratory pieces, all specially commissioned, while the programme also included works by Xenakis and Morton Feldman.
The new pieces had a wide stylistic range, moving from the Satie-like rocking chords of Laurence Crane's Simon 10 Holt 50 to Vine's luminous Fifty Objects, suddenly cut short by an outburst of frantic activity, via equally concentrated pieces by Paul Newland, Anthony Gilbert (Holt's teacher) and Larry Goves. It all made an elegant, modest tribute.
Andrew Clements (The Guardian, 10th January 2008)
Radius in The Rambler, January 2008
"It is a pleasure to hear an ensemble of Radius's quality testing the Wigmore's acoustic"
Following their debut last year, this was Radius's second show at this prestigious and traditionally conservative venue. As before, they brought an eclectic collection of works by established modernist masters and younger British composers. Last night we were treated to pieces by Feldman, Xenakis and Vivier, as well as works by Radius's co-founders Tim Benjamin and Ian Vine, and five short pieces composed in honour of Simon Holt's 50th birthday.
It is a pleasure to hear an ensemble of Radius's quality testing the Wigmore's acoustic with some experimental repertoire, and Feldman's Durations I (1960) was a gift in this respect. Still more successful was Xenakis's Kottos (1977), given a powerful rendition by cellist Oliver Coates, every detail of the composer's sonic imagination ringing clear. The other solo piece, Ian Vine's X (2007, wp) for percussionist I thought was outstanding. I spent the first half without a programme, and could only remember the composer names, not any of the works to be performed, and I intend it as a high compliment when I say that I was pretty sure that this must have been the programmed Xenakis.
Tim Rutherford-Johnson (The Rambler, 9th January 2008)