'Thomas Adès is unmistakably embarked on a brilliant career… he impresses effortlessly and the music he writes has rare and tautly disciplined imagination… Living Toys, a Sinfonietta commission, proved a remarkable essay.  It is remarkable for its intricate facture (it is notated with meticulous yet never over-fussy precision; for its bizarrely effective scoring; and for its crabbed but powerful coherence of form…The work had a wonderfully dense, dynamic impact.'
The Sunday Times (Paul Driver), 20 February 1994

'Twenty-two is a rather young age to be writing a symphonie fantastique, which is what Adès’ realisation of a child’s dream, with its Berlioz-like obsession with nightmare military marches, grotesque deaths, and funeral cortèges, amounts to. But Adès carries the whole thing off brilliantly.'
Financial Times (Stephen Pettitt), 24 August 1997

'…an overwhelming onslaught of invention…Like Strauss, Mr Adès can weave disparate materials into an entrancing musical story.'
The New York Times (Alex Ross), 25 November 1995