“Bedford took his cue from the unusually large wind section in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony — and decided to write his short piece for winds, percussion and double-basses alone. Mark Elder, who conducted it, focused more on how Bedford tunes in to the teasing rhythmic cross-currents in the Mahler: the new work is called At Three and Two, because two notes are played in the time of three, and then multiplied against themselves to produce ... but I won’t go on.
Very little of this can be audible to the untutored ear. What the first-time listener hears is a sequence of powerful chords, widespread, yet using just two or three notes. Each chord falls like a heavy stone into water — and rhythmic ripples and reverberations spin out, refracting sound from all angles.
Bedford’s is a slight work. Yet, as soon as Elder raised his baton at the start of the mighty Mahler, the keenness of Bedford’s ear and the sensitivity of his imagination became fully apparent. And, right up to the last piping note of the first movement, Bedford’s fine-tuning into the heart of this symphony’s sensibility became audible in retrospect. Mahler’s pulsing double-basses, strange, isolated wind solos and chill silences spread out over a vast canvas for which Bedford’s piece seemed a tiny, etched aide-memoire.”
(Hilary Finch, The Times)