Piercing the Vault
New Zealand Herald Saturday 18 June 2005
The NZSO came to town with the nicest gift they could bring us – a New Zealand commission.
Michael Williams’ Piercing the Vault coached thought provoking philosophies in an idiom that could be described as approachability without compromise. Its superlative soloist Robert Orr poured out oboe melodies, which sometimes seemed on the Moorish side, while the orchestra came up with harmonies that many in the audience would have found were downright moreish.
Williams has a sure sense of colour and the courage to risk the rumbustious; his lightly scored cadenza, with oboe sliding and bending over whispered lower strings, dealt out a rare and mysterious beauty.
Reviewer William Dart