Hymns and Variations: Bryars, Cage, and Part, April 2023
The six players – three vocalists and three instrumentalists – captured the ritual aspect without it being cold. The singers ... were razor-sharp in hitting their isolated notes, their consonants pure, and Betts-Dean in particular putting little surges through some notes that really brought them to life.
The scoring of the whole concert was dictated by Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Mater [where] Julian Azkoul’s fragile, vibrato-less opening was captivating, as was the slow descent through their ranges from the singers. Cellist Ghislaine Sara McMullin injected intensity into her lines and violist Henrietta Hill balanced the string group nicely. Ana Beard Fernández found a statuesque quality to her sound, while the passion came from tenor William Searle ... the performance couldn’t be faulted.
MacMillan: Seven Last Words From The Cross, March 2021
"a challenging piece ... received a stunning performance here, with MacMillan's wrenching harmonies really cutting through with a clean edge, yet poignant moments too. The performance was one to a part (challenging in itself) which brought a lovely clarity and cleanliness to the music, yet in the more dramatic moments seemed to heighten the intensity. The result makes a very modern contemplation for Holy Week, you cannot but doubt MacMillan's spiritual commitment to the music, yet he writes in a way which speaks to a wide variety of souls."
Stockhausen: STIMMUNG, May 2017
"Highlights include . . . a rare performance of Stockhausen's electro-choral work Stimmung."
Lyndsey Winship | The Evening Standard 10 May 2017
"The group gave a first-rate account, and their mastery of overtone singing was generally very good ... it contained some satisfying showcase moments for individual performers (Oliver Clarke’s splendidly theatrical declamation of the poem Meine Hände, or Benedict Collins Rice’s exasperated ‘come on’ being examples), and a liberal seasoning of vivacity and wit."
Barry Creasy | MusicOMH 21 May 2017
"STIMMUNG as sweet and sincere as ever at Southwark Platform with Facade Ensemble"
Peter Quantrill | writer for Gramophone, The Strad, Sinfini Classical, the Amati Magazine & The Wagner Journal
Arvo Part: Passio, April 2017
"For all the talk of Part's special compositional method of tintinnabulation with its suggestion of persistent bell-like sounds, what actually came across was a brisk, cut-and-thrust delivery of the harrowing story.
This isn't to imply that this performance lacked emotion, quite the contrary. From the thrilling opening chorus to the final blazing chord of D major, Passio proved to be a thoroughly compelling and riveting experience. Much of this due to the appropriately passionate, insightful and inspiring conducting of Benedict Collins Rice."
Joe Conway | Peterborough Telegraph
The Night Resounded: music by Schoenberg and Berg, February 2017
Gregory Rose | International Conductor and Composer
The Facade Ensemble: CANTATA, St James' Paddington, April 2016
Paul Badura-Skoda | International Concert Pianist
"Benedict Collins-Rice and his Facade Ensemble . . . left me unwilling to leave at the music's close . . . the effect of this revolving, cyclical collection of sounds was the momentary suspension of reality, musical and otherwise, and how sweet that was. . . this concert showed me that unfamiliar sound-worlds are best served live and thankfully there are groups like The Facade Ensemble who are willing to make the effort to invite you to share in them."
Philip Barrett (Broadcast Assistant, BBC Radio 3) | philbarrettlistens
"Britten’s “The Turn of The Screw” . . . for me was the highlight of the festival . . . Benedict Collins-Rice conducted the extremely talented orchestra masterfully, and every single performer on stage managed to utterly enthrall the audience with some wonderfully expressive singing."
Samuel Hewitt | Varsity