REVIEWS

Flowers is a strong piece that seems to do what it sets out to… with terrific conviction, with a flair for tortuous sonic imagery, and with no hint that the composer is not in complete control of his materials.”
Stephen Walsh, The Independent  

Blue Letters from Tanganyika
 “The rhythmically charged, open and immediately engaging music is bright and colourful… managing to evoke the African landscape.”
Pwyll Ap Siôn, Gramophone magazine

Blue Letters from Tanganyika
**** "four colourful, finely crafted movements that will appeal to a wide age range" 
Phil Sommerick, Classical Music Magazine

De Profundis
“Stirring brass and chorus writing.”
Stephen Johnson, The Independent

De Profundis
“John Hardy’s powerful De profundis, a setting of scripture and martyr’s writings.”
Rick Jones, Evening Standard

Flowers
“A very varied, wide emotional spectrum expressed”
Stuttgarter Zeitung (translation)

Flowers
“Hardy’s 90-minute opera is gripping and intensely theatrical. He has a feeling for the dramatic ebb and flow of opera which can’t be taught but clearly benefits from his theatre and film experience… blackly humorous and ironic by turns… Hardy draws a wealth of colour…[an] important endorsement of Welsh opera.”
Peter Reynolds, Opera Now 

Flowers
“John Hardy, an exciting composer… developed a dramatic style both accessible and challenging. 
An utterly engrossing piece… all quite mesmeric… a sharply defined, unique and surprising piece of music-theatre that should attract anyone who enjoys the unexpected.”

David Adams, Guardian     

Flowers
“The opera is driven from climax to climax by Hardy’s violent but irresistible score, rich in detail and full of diverse ideas… it creates a fierce concentration… tensions are built expertly… a message for our times, strongly delivered.”
Kenneth Loveland, Musical Opinion

Flowers
“Hardy delivers his protest with conviction and with violence, and we are won to his side. The score… is rich and evocative… generous in detail.”
Kenneth Loveland, Opera  

Flowers
“John Hardy’s new 90-minute chamber opera for Music Theatre Wales has a lot going for it.
Hardy’s energetic, instinctive music, resourcefully scored… is very much to the point, communicating with commendable flexibility the whole gamut of human emotions.”

Stephen Pettitt, The Times  
    
Flowers
“Another musical hit… John Hardy’s new work Flowers is music theatre on the edge, provocative, disturbing and extremely enjoyable… a focused and highly charged piece… emotionally searing, challenging but accessible.”
Mike Smith, Western Mail  

Fol-de-riddles
“Pride of place went to the premiere of a [Red Violin] Festival commission, Fol de Riddles, a fanfare for four violins by Wales-based composer John Hardy… [in] this brief, striking work… the opening section set the first violinist against the others in dramatic, declamatory fashion; the second section, fast and exciting, involved all four in a riveting ensemble.”
Robin Stowell, The Strad

 

Night Flight
***** "Hardy explored the changing textural dynamics of the ensemble, whilst cleverly showcasing the individual skill of its members: a rare treat compared to more traditional orchestral repertoire... a fantastic concept that proved to be the highlight of the evening."
Jessica Ruth Morris, Western Mail

Not Darkness But Twilight
“A fluent… intense outpouring… rich waves of sound.”
Rian Evans, The Guardian 

Patagonia
“John Hardy’s epic and hypnotic music.”
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph  

Patagonia
“A haunting score by John Hardy.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian  

Patagonia
“Tumultuous music – great blocks of sound.”
Nicholas De Jongh, Evening Standard  

Patagonia
“A quite astonishing… production… it’s the sound which is so pervasive.”
Pat Ashworth, The Guardian  

Pax
“Pax is a breath-taking spectacle… a magnificent and chilling oratorio… every element of the piece was terrifying and magical, on an almost biblical scale.”
Joyce Mcmillan, The Guardian  

Pax
“A unique, memorable performance… great swirling banks of sound… you knew it was something special from the beginning.”
David Adams, The Guardian  


“Community opera projects… at their best – and this is one of the best I have ever seen - …can pull together entire communities in a creative process that both enriches and celebrates the innate skills and talents of the community involved.” - MIS BACH DU / BLACK FEBRUARY
Michael Parkin, Western Mail