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 listens...to 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