Press

In the afternoon’s most provocative piece of programming, this outward-looking piece was coupled with Larry Goves’ very inward Trends in Personal Relationships, a title he told us came from a business management textbook, and it seemed to focus on the human world as opposed to the natural one. A lightly scored, airy piece, its instrumental lines again acted rather independently, but there was a solitary air to each part here, with hints of dialogues meandering ambiguously. This is another piece I’d love to hear again and which I hope the Sinfonietta find room for in future.

http://www.bachtrack.com, Paul Kilbey, 05/12/2012

Larry Goves’s delightful Sherpa Tensing stands up from the piano, says something quiet, and walks outside sets Matthew Welton’s wonderfully wacky verse that features a whole cast of characters from Socrates to Tommy Cooper saying something quiet and walking outside. In a programme filled with the darker side of the madrigal genre it was a welcome moment of light relief. I never thought I would hear Sid James mentioned in the Wigmore Hall.

The Observer, Stephen Pritchard, 28/10/2012

…Larry Goves’s Things that are blue, things that are white, things that are black was actually brand-new. It was a tour de force in two ways. There was the virtuosity of the players, above all solo pianist Sarah Nicolls, who had to play three keyboards – a standard grand piano, an electronic keyboard that gave out endless surprises from mistuned notes to giant chords, and some distance away behind the orchestra a second piano, “prepared” in ways that made it sound bell-like and exotic.

And there was the virtuosity of Goves’s score, which built up an orchestral embarras de richesses in many layers, with sounds from several key players looped and transformed by electronics. In the central section yet another element was thrown in – some ingenious animation projected on a screen from Jesse Collett and Myroslava Sayeed. The piece was engrossing for every moment of its 35 minutes…

The Telegraph, Ivan Hewett, 04/06/2010

…The great revelation of the evening was Larry Goves’ Things that are blue, things that are white and things that are black, which amounted to a triple piano concerto. There was only one pianist, but she was required to play on three instruments: a microtonal/electronic keyboard, a prepared piano and a ‘normal’ piano. The effect of this mixed palate was music of multiplied contrasts and layered textures. The ensemble consisted of a large string section and three semi-soloists (horn, viola and oboe) who created murkily knotted, drifting gusts; culminating in a devastating emotional climax. Pianist Sarah Nicolls played with deft aplomb, navigating rough musical terrain with understated assurance and beautiful tone. Gleaming, top drawer stuff from a fearless performer…

musicOHM, Stephen Crowe, 06/2010

…Goves’ Springtime, too, was one of the three works commissioned to mark the London Sinfonietta’s fortieth anniversary. This is a beautiful setting of an eponymous poem by Matthew Welton with whom the composer has already collaborated on several occasions. A sense of distance – suggested by the words of the poem – is achieved by the presence of two separate ensembles (one acoustic and one amplified) as well as by a pre-recorded vocal line counterpointing the live singer in an often enticing dialogue. This is one of the undoubted successes in this release and a truly beautiful work that deserves to be heard again and again…

MusicWeb International, Hubert Culot, 2009

…Larry Goves’ (b. 80) Springtime was perhaps the strongest work of the three. Its hushed profile and busy high range textures made out of a small number of gestures in harp and piano evocatively recalled the great Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino. Goves displayed a fine ear for delicate colour and subtle drama throughout, and the Sinfonietta’s nuanced performance brought out all the startling musicality of the score. Juliet Fraser sung strongly in a dual role- both live and pre-recorded- that submerged the text of Matthew Welton’s eponymous poem into the immersive musical ocean…

MusicalCriticism.com, Stephen Graham, 12/2008

…There was equally concentrated drama in a new work by Larry Goves, I wear you on my sleeve, for piano and string quartet. This three-movement work created a forceful poetry from the technical differences between the strings and the piano. Clusters and chords in the piano melted into a microtonal mist of string sound, before the music coalesced in another burst of pianistic colour. The last movement ended with an unexpected and passionate cello solo, compellingly played by Paul Watkins: music that transcended the previous movements…

The Guardian, Tom Service, 27 February 2003

…Perhaps the most striking signs of promise come from Luke Bedford, with his muscular and acerbic Five Abstracts (three of them included here), and from Larry Goves; his Walking Underground has a restraint and concentration that combine into a quietly powerful musical statement. Both Bedford and Goves were still students when their pieces were written; what they do next should be well worth hearing, and State of the Nation needs to follow through with composers such as these until their careers are well launched…

The Guardian, Andrew Clements, 26 April 2002