'The story...is probably the simplets and, externally, most uneventful that has ever been enacted on a Western stage.  The pace of physical events is proportionally slow-and the pace of psychological, musical action proportionately quick.  It is all over in one calm, exciting flash of absolutely concinuous inspiration.'
The Spectator (Hans Keller)

'...the sheer daring of Curlew River, the risky, perfectly achieved fusion of Noh play and medieval liturgical drama, the economy of one of Britten's most startling and original achievements...
And has any composer since the Gluck of Orfeo ed Euridice acticulated in music the numbing pain of personal bereavement with such poignancy?'
The Times (Rodney Milnes)