Best of all, there was Timothy Salter, and the world première of his Aquatints. Within four compelling miniatures, Salter conjured a darker, more pungent sound palette from the ensemble by allowing the resinous homogeneity of the strings to set flute and harp into sharply etched relief.
This is a fine work. It satisfies the composer’s intentions in respect of fluidity and balance, it manages to integrate and characterise with imagination, and it keeps auditory interest going unflagging to the end.
…A wistful central threnody… was especially memorable. One of the work’s most striking formal elements was its continual juxtaposition of fast and slow episodes, which, on account of the subtle interrelationships between the two musics, never impeded the material’s inherent fluency…the composer’s versatility and cogency, manifested in his new chamber work.
After the Sun
…From [this] ordering of the poetry that Salter draws his musical structure, a structure that is clearly audible and gives the cycle a sense of both proportion and architectural symmetry…The transition for piano alone leading into Departure III…sets the stillness of atmosphere for Salter’s austerely beautiful setting of Lowbury’s evocative yet quietly powerful words.
There are just 20 minutes of music to encompass a considerably thread of emotion, accomplished with a sense of unity, and the complete work is a wholly satisfying miniature.
‘Aerial’ CD – Aerial, Piano Quartet, String Quartet No.2
His works demonstrate a concentrated economy of means and overall cohesion. There is never a sense of a note too many or an overused idea. His instincts for structure mean that the listener has a clear sense of the trajectory of a piece throughout. Salter’s works are crafted with care and attention to detail, and his harmonic language is coherent and well defined.
Aerial – This is an extremely enjoyable piece which deserves a place in the repertoire.
String Quartet No.2 – Salter seems to have an instinct for the pacing of mood which keeps the music fresh and engaging throughout. Although the piece is nearly 11 minutes long, it felt much shorter, and I could happily have heard more.
Four refined and beautifully wrought miniatures, demanded attention through their variety of textures and their concise manner.
‘Parallax’ CD – music for chamber ensembles by Timothy Salter
Those who enjoy excellent music-making and music will find much reward on this diverse disc.
The white and the walk of the morning
Especially attractive are the imaginative textures of Timothy Salter’s The white and the walk of the morning, to poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
BBC Music Magazine
Timothy Salter brings musical coherence to the dextrous verbal interplay of Hopkins’s verse, and a Holst-like radiance to Inversnaid, the last of the quartet.
I must add that there are stand-outs on this CD. The title work [Chimera] is – as befits its title – both beguiling and unnerving, thanks to the composer’s games with rhythm.
International Record Review
…three gentle, beautiful pieces…
It is nearly eight minutes of excitement and drama, contrasting with lyrical statements in a beautiful way.
American Record Guide
Imaginatively scored for cello, organ and chorus, Timothy Salter’s Lacrimae rerum (‘Tears for the nature of things’) is a powerfully atmospheric, questing meditation on the theme of human transience based around four fragments from Virgil’s Aeneid.