Through a Glass Darkly

Paul Driver
The Sunday Times (UK)

Smalley was a leading light of the 1970s avant-garde in this country, studying with Stockhausen, proselytising for him and co-founding the electroacoustic group Intermodulation. Pulses, for subdivided ensemble, remains a pinnacle of exploratory modernism. Since he settled in Australia in 1976, however, his music has lurched sharply towards post-Romanticism and a reinvented classicism. These three works — Piano Quintet, Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano, and String Quartet No 2 — all exuberantly performed here, are stylistic worlds away from anything by the young Smalley, yet his ingenuity of craftsmanship remains constant …