From Journal of the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) Spring 2001, by the Editor, Tony Rogers:
“I was on a quest to the little English village of Theberton. Turning right at the Lion Inn I ventured down a narrow hidden lane which led to Lupin Cottage. At first glance a small and simple dwelling turned into a labyrinthine maze of light and airy rooms, the whole set in a jewel of a garden. This is the home of the English composer Elis Pehkonen.
“Once discovered, the initial impression that his music is small and pleasant work is dispelled as it opens up to wider vistas and patterns set within a brilliant musical tapestry.
“Elis Pehkonen is essentially an English composer, despite his Finnish name. I met him because a friend at the Royal College of Music, London, told me that this was THE English composer of choral music.”
Brian Kay writes in the BBC Music Magazine, under ‘Choral Classics’:
“Elis Pehkonen’s Russian Requiem is cleverly written for similar orchestral forces to Vivaldi’s Gloria. With its ready mixture of lyrical and dramatic moments its proving enormously popular with choirs and audiences alike.”
Kenneth Loveland, Musical Times
“A work of convincing statement, dramatic pulse and accessibility.”
Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post, March 29, 1999
“Curvingly expressive melodic lines and vital rhythms which communicate directly to the gut . . . the Russian Requiem can proudly take its place alongside the masterpieces of Faure, Britten & Tippett in its restrained pacifism and optimism that death cannot prevail.”