Critics on works by Haukur Tómasson

GUÐDRUN´S 4th SONG opera (1996)
“This production was a triumph… outstanding music… with rhythmic drive, a tragic monumentality and its own ice-cold logic.” Berlingske Tidende (Denmark), July 1996.

Information (Denmark), July 1996.

“With this work, something great and lasting has been created…”
Nordic Sounds, November 1996.

“A more beautiful death has never been heard on the operatic stage.”
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), July 2005.

Reviews for BIS-CD 908:
„[Tómasson] has set his poetic fragments in music of piercing clarity of vision and keenness of ear… [The music] mesmerises with its merging levels of instrumental and vocal recession.“
BBC Music Magazine, September 1998.

“Very strongly recommended.” Gramophone, December 1998.

“An extraordinary listening experience, one I recommend unhesitantly.” John Story, Fanfare May/June 2000.

MAGMA for orchestra (1998)
“…constructed with iron logic, while [its] clear and distinct sound brings to mind the purity and austerity of the Northern landscape.” Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), October 1998.

“A wonderful composition, simple in form… but with a deafening climax.” DV (Iceland), January 1999.

„A strong dose of sonic fantasy, melodic writing and cool rhythmic drive.“
Huvudstadsbladet (Finland), September 2000.

“Tómasson´s Magma is a vivid example of how a composer can draw parallels between the forces of nature and a modern musical language. The work conjures up an archaic spell, even though it is neither simple nor old-fashioned.”
Helsingin Sanomat (Finland), September 2000.

DOORS TO DREAMS for orchestra (2001)
“Tómasson´s composition is a work of genius… a marvellously lively and entertaining score with mysterious interludes…” DV (Iceland), February 2002.

“This is intriguing, original music which appeals on several levels and, one suspects, will continue to fascinate on repeated listening.” Records International, November 2000.

“Captivating music by a highly talented composer… manages again and again to reach novel effects through its colorful harmonies and intricate polyphonic web.” Fono Forum, March 2001

“Tómasson´s music exudes personality. His concerto has both musical direction and logic, and his language is completely his own.”
NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), June 2001.

“… a dramatic piece that explores the expressive capabilities of the soloist and the instrument in thorough and musical fashion. The cadenza has an expressive urgency that is rare in music of any style or era. This concerto deserves to be taken up by performers looking for something a bit off the beaten path.” Stephen Hicken, American Record Guide, May/June 2001.

“Exuberantly inventive”
International Record Review, July 2005.

“Icelandic composer Haukur Tómasson’s work is more texturally than melodically based, but what textures they are! … neatly illustrates exactly why a modern work for flute and orchestra offers so many more timbral possibilities than music of earlier periods.” David Hurwitz, Classics Today, August 2005.

“…characterised with exceptional skill and attractiveness… such fascinating colouristic hints that one listens enraptured.” MusicWeb International, August 2005.

“It’s a gnomic, intriguing work that repays repeated listening.” Classical Source, September 2005.

“…imbued with a fantastical and luminous quality…” Gramophone, Editor´s Choice, September 2005.

STEMMA (RHYME) for orchestra (1997)
“…dazzling whirlwind…” International Record Review, June 2001.

“Conjured up such musical magic that one might almost have believed there was supernatural help involved.” Morgunblaðið (Iceland), August 2003.

LONG SHADOW string septet (or string quartet) 1998
“Filled with wonderful moments, such as the uncouth dance of the trolls in the 2nd movement and its strongest contrast, the haunting and fairy-like con sordino passages in the 4th movement. Morgunblaðið (Iceland), February 2002.

“… extraordinarely beautiful and transparent sounds contrasted with chaotic ostinatos… a startlingly beautiful work.”  Morgunblaðið (Iceland), February 2003.