But on the bright side there was the 30-year-old Martin Suckling’s luxuriously imaginative song cycle Candlebird, a Sinfonietta commission. Poems by Don Paterson, sharp and tender, sparked a circus of scorched lyric phrases, dancing globules, odd folksy twirls, dips into speech and abundant panache. Echoes of Britten could be heard; but Suckling stayed his own man, especially in magnificent The Wind, a whirling jewel of multiple layers. Barring the speech, Leigh Melrose’s enthusiastic baritone made every note and phrase expressive; and Nicholas Collon, the evening’s occasional conductor, revelled in music well worth conducting.
— Geoff Brown