★★★★ - Claire Jackson, BBC Music Magazine
Anna Appleby’s Sonnet 43 was a passionate song without words, inspired by the irrationality and terror of grief as expressed in one of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems. The piano had a concertante role, occasionally combative and at different times forming an uneasy union with the other instruments. The instrumentation was invariably inventive, with a striking interpolation, near the end, of brightly coloured whirly tubes. Alternately barbed and shadowy, Anna Appleby’s bold, far-reaching score embraced the wild and shocking qualities of mourning, as well as conveying the depth of pain of a lament.
CBSO Sounds New - Paul Conway, Musical Opinion (April 2023)
"...Bridges was so much more than a commission. It was ten months of dynamic, collaborative music making. Anna transformed how Young Sinfonia saw composing and creating a new piece, resulting in an epically committed and exciting performance"
Pay the Piper - Winner of 'Best Opera' at the International YAM Awards, 2022
Composed by Anna Appleby, Ailie Robertson, Cecilia Livingston and Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade with libretto by Hazel Gould
...the score flows seamlessly while allowing the musical personalities to shine. ★★★★
The music is played by Psappha and although at time is complex and modern there is an underlying sense of a folk tradition. And the music is wonderful as is the libretto which is accessible and at all times sung with clarity, negating the need for the surtitles.
What soon came to mind was that this new work has real potential to be seen and heard again and again... ★★★★★
Pay the Piper with Glyndebourne Youth Opera - Latest Brighton (Feb 2022)
The Piper’s story, together with the framing passages, the interludes and the opening and closing music, was composed by Anna Appleby. Bold yet hintingly plaintive motifs introduce The Piper...
Pay the Piper with Glyndebourne Youth Opera - Mark Aspen (Feb 2022)
"Tom Service presents the world premiere performance of Drought, an opera by Anna Appleby with libretto by poet Niall Campbell. This metaphysical tale of retribution and remorse revolves around two characters on a drought-stricken farm, and the rising tensions between them. The soloists are Lila Chrisp and Sally Pitts, with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Jack Sheen"
- BBC Radio 3, August 2023
Anna Appleby‘s 5-minute solo saxophone piece 13.8 Billion Years began as a soaring melody, before exploding into florid life peppered with key-clicks (which, for once, didn’t seem like an overused effect) and sharp multiphonic colourations. Amy Green’s performance of the piece was fantastic: beautifully controlled through the opening, and genuinely mesmerising as the work developed, coming across like a snake charmer. Though both the title and the premise of the piece were (deliberately?) preposterous, it didn’t matter; I interpreted it that the previous 13.8 billion years had all been leading up to this particular moment – a wait that felt totally worth it.
HCMF Shorts - 5 against 4 (Nov 2021)