The symmetrical construction of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s latest programme reflected the symmetry of the amazing work premiered at the heart of it…. Latest in the long line of BCMG’s spectacularly successful Sound Investment commissions, Edmund Finnis’ Parallel Colour employs two virtually identical ensembles, facing each other, with a lone double-bass as the linking king-pin. In some ways this symmetry goes back to the two orchestras of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, and though Bach uses his forces for dramatic and contrasting ends, here Finnis sees his own more as vehicles for repetition and refraction, as mirror-like as the confluence of sea and sky on a still horizon.
There is sheer beauty in the timbres he creates – subdued, sometimes ethereal – and only towards the too-soon-reached end is there a slight livening-up of activity. […] its effect was totally magical. Richard Baker conducted a willing BCMG in this premiere of what I would dare to declare a masterpiece in the genre.