'… begins with quiet, charged fragments, like late Mahler, but the process of building from them immediately takes on its own character and gives rise to long, apparently free but carefully shaped melodic lines. At first the harmonies are gentle. A glint of Stravinskian asperity in the high woodwind is mellowed by the song of the strings below it. The central part of the piece is night music, scurrying triplets then snarls and roars from trombones, predominantly uneasy, rather than directly frightening, like Bartók's nocturnal interludes. It gathers its threads into knots of high tension and unwinds slowly back to a different but related kind of lullaby, drawn out to unexpected lengths. In the end, the music does not cut off suddenly like the eventual coming of sleep but holds on to the last vestige of consciousness, as though wanting to continue the search.'The Independent (Robert Maycock), 24 October 1988
'The music is autumnal, full of rage, remembrance and reconciliation. The idiom is as personal, unique, unfashionable and compelling as Sibelius' or Elgar's were…these lullabies mourn the passing of our civilization, even while they prolong civilized values…for generations people will be buying tickets to hear his music.'
The Boston Globe (Richard Dyer), 4 August 1992
'…a single movement of half an hour's duration which always knows where it is heading and expresses itself with originality and beguiling charm. Not that all is amiability: this twilight world brings its nightmare visions…so imaginative is Maw's scoring and so cohesive his argument that the final impression is one of deep humanity no less benign and deep than Beethoven's.'
The Times (Barry Millington), 12 September 1995
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