Among critics, there is a widespread difference of opinion as to what Coleridge's thoughts on dreams are actually affected by his substance use. In her book Coleridge on Dreams, Jennifer Ford leaves the opium influence on Coleridge as a source of much of his dream imagery almost unmentioned. In contrast, Alethea Heyter ascribes almost all of Coleridge‘s poetic imagery to the drug in the self-explanatory title of her book Opium and the Imagination . It seems that neither viewpoint is quite fitting, and perhaps a stance somewhere in the middle would be most suitable. This is even more important because of the distinction between the different perceptions of opium throughout history. Today it is seen as a drug, while from the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century, opium was a medication.
After receiving copies of the work from the RCM in London, Patrick Meadows made printed playing editions of the Nonet , Piano Quintet , and Piano Trio . The works were performed in Meadows's regular chamber music festival on the island of Majorca , and were well received by the public as well as the performers. The first modern performances of some of these works were done in the early 1990s by the Boston, Massachusetts-based Coleridge Ensemble, led by William Thomas of Phillips Academy , Andover . This group subsequently made world premiere recordings of the Nonet , Fantasiestücke for string quartet and Six Negro Folksongs for piano trio, which were released in 1998 by Afka Records. Thomas, a champion of lost works by black composers, also revived Coleridge's Hiawatha's Wedding Feast in a performance commemorating the composition's 100th anniversary with the Cambridge Community Chorus at Harvard's Sanders Theatre in the spring of 1998.