Viola, Viola sees George Benjamin at his most ingenious and immediate. Entwined together in nine enthralling minutes of furious close-knit dialogue, two violas conjure an almost orchestral variety and depth of sound, in polyphonic textures that – at their most complex – maintain four or more parts for sustained periods. This surging, dancing drama is quite simply one of the most important additions to the viola repertoire since the Ligeti Sonata, unleashing the dazzling and explosive potential of an instrument more accustomed to being a melancholy voice hidden in the shadows.
'. . .a virtuoso tour de force. . .a visceral dialectic, powered by nervous energy.'
The Times (Helen Wallace), 21 October 1998
'For 10 beguiling minutes, the two instruments take turns offering fierce or lyrical outbursts, either individually or in close-knit counterpoint. . .The effect is mesmerizing. . .'
San Francisco Chronicle (Joshua Kosman), 7 May 1999