‘… a concerto for clarinet, with the composer playing the solo part brilliantly, was fun, music with brash humor, clever scoring, evocations of elegiac Irish bagpipes in the slow movement, and Led Zeppelin in the finale … A truly exceptional talent.’
The New York Times (Anthony Tommasini), 28 May 1998

‘Derek Bermel’s Voices, a concerto for clarinet and orchestra, is a crowd-pleaser that is likely to enter the repertory of every orchestra that had a representative in the audience.  Part of the appeal lies in the virtuosity and charisma of the composer, who was soloist … There doesn't seem to be anything Bermel can't do with the clarinet; at one point he took off the top, and played it like an ebony trumpet.  But the appeal also lies in the music, which adds dimensions of wit and intelligence to melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements of immediate popular appeal.  This is the kind of piece that makes your day.’
The Boston Globe (Richard Dyer)