‘…utterly new and original; it is dazzling, and, like the music of few composers, it makes its points swiftly and wastes none of its notes. The first part, in memory of Benjamin’s teacher, Messiaen, sets up a quiet rippling texture over which a flugelhorn attempts to fly, and is brought repeatedly back to earth; the second is an extravagant, tiny caprice with increasingly florid wind solos. The last, and the most effective, is a ghost of a funeral march, with thudding bass drums and gongs punctuating a grand processional in the depths of the orchestra. It isn’t a long movement, but the emotional impact of the contrabassoon’s throaty yell, with which it starts, or the dreadful noise of two enormous bass drums thrumming at the outer edge of audibility, is out of all proportion to the modest means and scale Benjamin uses. A first-rate piece; and we won’t, I think, have to wait long before hearing it again, and again.’
Daily Telegraph (Philip Hensher), 21 November 1995

‘…music that grows naturally and effortlessly out of its melodic germs, and moves with absolute certainty in ever-changing instrumental colours.’
The Guardian, 20 August 1997

‘Benjamin’s music is full of paint and shards of stained glass, and wonderful moments in which distant, somber pronouncements from the brass make themselves heard through clouds of sparks and smoke.’
LA Weekly (Alan Rich), 27 November 1998

‘…These are studies in textures evoked masterfully from a chamber orchestra… Benjamin opened up a wonderful galaxy of sonorities here, while never neglecting the pulse that unites them into a glittering mosaic.’
San Francisco Examiner (Allan Ulrich), 7 May 1999