Press

MASS IN BLUE

“Todd knows what he’s doing, and he meets the challenge of writing a convincing jazz setting of the mass, and pulls it off magnificently.”
This is Derbyshire / November 2011

“Todd’s love for both jazz and choral music is clear throughout the work which skilfully blends the two genres to stunning effect.”
John Manning / Herts Advertiser / January 2011

“Will Todd’s Mass In Blue is a setting of the Latin text like no other. In St John’s, Carrington on Saturday night the work’s driving rhythms, catchy melodies and irresistible exuberance swept both audience and performers off their feet. The usual respectful silence between movements was filled with spontaneous applause”
William Ruff / Nottingham Evening Post / October 2010

“…Todd’s own Mass in Blue, an upbeat piece that really was uplifting.  The choir … sang with gusto, clearly enjoying the work’s soaring lines and rich bluesy harmonies, and Halliday sounded free as a bird.  Todd and his players were excellent throughout.”
Tom Owen/ Sheffield Telegraph/ 2008

“Blending jazz and blues styles with largely well-written solid choral writing, the Mass in Blue wears its eclecticism lightly. Expression is the main priority, and Todd – who appears in the recording as the solo pianist – employs whatever style seems right for the text and the moment, rather than showing off his compositional virtuosity just for the sake of it. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by how structured the work is, considering its jazzy surface: the Mass is a legitimate entry into the choral repertoire. . . The music becomes more absorbing on every playing. Fans of high-quality choral singing should not miss the opportunity to grab this with both hands as soon as possible.”
Dominic McHugh / musicOMH.com / 2006

“Mass in Blue was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening: each movement was set appropriately to its content – gospel and blues for the Kyrie, lots of brass for the Gloria, a haunting ballad for the Agnus Dei,  and a return to the upbeat Credo for a grand finale.”
Joss O’Kelly/ The Bucks Herald/ 2005

“Both instrumental and choral writing are complex and yet straightforward: instantly accessible but music that will not only stand the test of time but will grow with repeated listening.”
Helen Wright / musicOMH.com / April 2004

“Others have done similar things: notably Tippett in his oratorio A Child of Our Time and Bernstein’s liberal use of jazz/blues idioms. But Todd is sufficiently his own man to do it his way.”
Thomas Hall / The Journal, Newcastle / April 2004

TE DEUM

“Todd’s brilliant new piece was the highpoint of the evening . . . From the bold virtuosic timpani writing in the opening bars of the Te Deum it was clear that the audience was in for a treat. Todd’s musical language is drawn from a variety of sources which are integrated into a compelling musical cocktail. If there were echoes of Walton and Britten in one movement, there were traces of Sondheim and Duke Ellington in another.”
Stephen Goss/ Surrey Advertiser/ 2009

REQUIEM

“an outstanding response to the text”
Alan Bullard/ Choir & Organ/ 2010

“his most impressive, well-structured, ‘agonized-over’ work to date . . . well worth many more performances from ambitious, enterprising choirs.”
Jill Barlow/ Tempo/ 2009

DURHAM JAZZ EVENSONG

“If you are interested in jazz in the liturgy then this collection is worth investigating.”
MusicWeb International / June 2011

“At the words ‘He hath showed strength with his arm’ Todd’s music seems to shift up a gear and it becomes more vital and more inventive. I liked the Nunc dimittis, especially the opening pages where a quietly keening saxophone in the background provides a most effective background to the choir. The concluding prayers, in which the choir sings what sounds like four-part harmony, are engaging. ”
John Quinn / MusicWeb International / June 2011

“This was swung evensong, a foot tapping, full-house fantasia.”
Mike Amos/ Northern Echo/ 2008

STAY WITH ME LORD

“Will Todd’s practical approach is a lyrical setting for choir and piano which is not beyond the reach of the average church choir”
Shirley Ratcliffe/ Choir & Organ/ 2009

“If you like spine-tingling choral music you’ll love Prayer for Padre Pio.  Arresting, lyrical and other-worldly new spiritual settings by three of Britain’s most talented composers, Roxanna Panufnik, James Macmillan and Will Todd, sung by the inimitable Sixteen”.
Helen Wallace/ Saga Magazine/ 2009

THE DREAM OF THE RIVER

“His The Dream of the River, which completed the first half of the programme, took inspiration from Michael Chaplin’s book Tyne View: a Walk around the Port of Tyne, and his creation was powerful, intimate, folksy and dramatic, evoking life on and around the river and the dreams and aspirations of those who live along its banks.”

Rob Barnes/The Journal/2014

MY LORD HAS COME

“This very intense, dramatic piece not only showed off the choir – especially the sopranos – at its best but was a demonstration of how a 21st century composer can respond to the Christmas story in a way which respects tradition whilst sounding totally fresh.”

Melanie Eskenazi/MusicOMH.com/2014

ANGEL SONG II

“Will Todd shone with the sheer simplicity of his concept . . . coming across in true Todd style with ethereal impact”
Jill Barlow/ Tempo/ 2005

“Will Todd’s wordless Angel Song II makes use of jewel-like tone clusters”
Stephen Pritchard / The Observer / May 2005

GALA AND GLORIA

“perhaps Todd’s best work so far. His trademark ominously rumbling orchestrations pressing close upon the choir, giving way to radiant light for rhapsodic vocal solos. But perhaps most impressive, and moving, was the uniformed Riverside Band marching proudly under its banner along the Cathedral’s length.”
Thomas Hall / The Journal, Newcastle / May 2004

SAINT CUTHBERT

“Todd has an extraordinary command of the gestural language of oratorio . . . he has an impressive melodic gift and uses it to excellent effect.”
Ivan Moody / International Record Review /July 2003

THE BLACKENED MAN

“The Blackened Man impressed with the confidence and insight with which its talented young creators handle the genre.”
George Hall / The Stage / October 2002

“This gloomy tale certainly grips you for its two hours.  Todd’s music is not hard to listen to, tonally based, sewn together with recurring motifs …  Not much of an ad for labour relations, but an arresting human drama nonetheless.”
Robert Thicknesse / The Times / September 2002

“Will Todd’s music is new to me, and The Blackened Man makes me want to get to know it better …  The most impressive thing was its pace, fluency and practicality.  Todd’s choral writing was especially luminous and the chorus cleverly integrated into the drama.”
Peter Reed / The Sunday Telegraph / September 2002

“a dramatic, gripping powerful new opera”
Janos Gerben / San Francisco Post / September 2002

THE BURNING ROAD

“nothing could prepare one for the sheer impact of this tumultuous work.”
Jill Barlow / St Albans Observer / February 2002

“Todd’s operatic experience … gives it enough dramatic clout to draw the listener into the plight, hope and eventual disillusionment of the Marchers.”
David Blewitt / Opera / January 2000

“[The Burning Road’s] music is a gift for singing – paying dues to Messiaen, Vaughan Williams, Britten – but alive and energised and packing an emotional punch.  Todd is someone who has begun to make a name for himself in community and West End contexts but is still waiting for his moment.  It will come.  The Burning Road is more than half way there.”
Michael White / Independent on Sunday / October 1999

THE SCREAMS OF KITTY GENOVESE

“If it’s any indication of what they’re capable of, Todd and Simpatico could have glorious careers ahead of them”
Talkin Broadway / Sept 2006

“In addition to being one of the most powerful operas of the last decade, The Screams of Kitty Genovese gave me hope for the renewal of musical theater.”
Robert Brustein / New Republic / November 2001