The Guardian

This useful survey of pieces by John Casken, all but one of them appearing on disc for the first time, covers more than 20 years of his development as a composer. The earliest scores – the 1978 ensemble piece Amarantos, the highly charged Firewhirl, a 1980 setting of a George Macbeth poem, and the busy two-piano Salamandra from 1986 – show Casken still sorting his influences. The later music – Infanta Marina from 1994, Distant Variations for saxophone quartet and wind band (1996), and the two versions (for solo violin with piano and ensemble accompaniments) of Après un Silence (1998), show more cool craftsmanship and less vivid invention though, as these performances show, the understanding of instrumental capabilities is totally assured.

—Andrew Clements