'Terrible Beauty' reviews

'David Matthews’ Terrible Beauty for mezzo-soprano (Susan Bickley), flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet, is both more substantial and more searching.  A Nash Ensemble commission with Arts Council funds, it is a beautifully wrought operatic scena.  Bickley’s mezzo moved ardently between supple recitative and sensuous arioso as she gave voice to Enobarbus’s great Antony and Cleopatra.  The instrumental playing seemed to echo both the light dancing metre of the Greek preface (an extract from Homer’s Iliad), and to re-create the oscillation of water and oar-strokes in a shimmering, harp-gilded bacarolle'
The Times (Hilary Finch) 8 March 2007

'David Matthews’ Terrible Beauty had mezzo Susan Bickley first declaiming Homer over Lucy Wakeford’s lyre-like harp, then narrating Shakespeare’s depiction of Cleopatra over warm ensemble writing, conducted by Lionel Friend'
The Guardian (Erica Jeal), 8 March 2007

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