"The U.S. premiere of Kati Agócs’s 2015 “Tantric Variations” sounded, in a way, like the mirror-image of Gubaidulina’s quartet [#1]. Here the musicians begin the work with toneless scraping that gradually coalesces into musical form. Troubled, searching conversations take shape among the four instruments. At times, they are jagged and confrontational, at others blossoming into the kind of unashamedly soaring, tonal melodies that would not be out of place in the Mozart or Mendelssohn quartets on the program. They conclude in euphonious concord. It was as if the very string-quartet structure that Gubaidulina had dismantled in her piece were being reconstituted here and given a sense of hope by Agócs. The Cecilia, which commissioned “Tantric Variations,” played it gorgeously. The concert marked the 60th anniversary of the gift of the first of five Stradivari to the Library of Congress."
- THE WASHINGTON POST, 18 December 2016 (Joe Banno)
"Kati Agócs’s music has been described as encouraging audience members to listen and be changed. In Tantric Variations, she bases her musical explorations on the word tantric, which means woven together. Using a one-bar motive as the basis, she weaves “a landscape that really goes everywhere you could imagine,” [cellist] Rachel Desoer said. Desoer was originally drawn to Agócs’ music when she performed her Violoncello Duet (I And Thou) and was inspired by all the sounds she didn’t know her instrument could make. Starting with a word referring to the practice of weaving, Agócs is able to both reference the traditional craft as well as evoke the universal idea of weaving strands together to create a unified whole."
- THE WHOLENOTE, June 2017 (Wendalyn Bartley)