The Boston Globe's Richard Dyer reviewed the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra's performance of Afterwards on October 7, 1996:

Even more interesting was James Sellars' "Afterwards -- Identity and Difference," a recomposition and deconstruction of the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Sellars undermines every harmonic and structural procedure of a work so familiar that it has the force of universal law, and in doing so he inverts every expressive intention. Sellars' orchestration has a penny plainness that sounds like Virgil Thomson, which in turn suggests Beethoven (Thomson would have been horrified by this notion); somthing more vivid and quirky might have been more appropriate to the task. But Sellars did create a piece you can listen to on its own merits; the interchange of playfulness and profound seriousness in it is fascinating. Sellars' cultural commentary is also a cultural object.

Copyright 1996 by The Boston Globe

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