Press reviews of Deep Listening concerts at the Stratford Festival, with Michael Colgrass and the Orford Quartet playing the Ravel String Quartet.

"The program notes tell us that Colgrass will lead us to a new way of listening to music. What he talks about is the inner mind of a composer. We were bidden to `...listen as a composer become a child again and capture those feelings and images that are really important.' Colgrass certainly made us anxious to hear the Orford group play the Ravel in toto. It was well worth the wait."

Colleen Johnston, The Beacon-Herald

"Colgrass' 16-minute introduction is masterfully conceived and delivered. He conditions the audience in much the same way as he, as a composer, allows himself to be transported. Passages from the quartet about to be played strengthen his efforts. When the Orford got its turn, the players most certainly showed they'd gotten Colgrass' message. There were breath-taking combinations, both in tone and tempo."

Richard Newman, The London Free Press

"He spoke very calmly and deliberately, almost like a psychiatrist dangling a pocketwatch, coaxing his patient into a hypnotic state. The words were soothing, encouraging, simple. It was as if a bridge was being built between sounds and feelings, as he spoke of delving deep down inside ourselves to capture the really important feelings and images, and then returning to our everyday thoughts refreshed.

"Whether he succeeded en mass I can't say, but at the very least an atmosphere of extreme quiet prevailed as his voice trailed off, as the lights gradually came up a little, and as the Orford Quartet began to play Ravel's String Quartet straight through from beginning to end. Frankly I can't remember having sat through a more concentrated audience experience of this music."

William Littler, The Toronto Star

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