ClassicsToday Calls Far In The Heavens “Powerful & Poignant”

ClassicsToday critic David Vernier gives a 9/10 rating to True Concord Voices & Orchestra's new Far In The Heavens: Choral Music of Stephen Paulus recording:

“Paulus wisely sought in this work to honor the victims while addressing the universal experience of those grieving and healing from loss of loved ones–in his words… Indeed, he accomplished that, with music that projects a concert-hall-scale grandeur (including some savvy orchestration) while embodying a style reminiscent of what can best be described as ‘20th-century English cathedral’.… Paulus’ engaging melodies and clearly defined textures confirm the composer’s effort to give primary attention to the texts. The opening measures of I Have Called You By Name (text from Isaiah 43), are certainly among the more beautiful and moving of any modern a cappella choral piece–and there are many more moments of sumptuous and striking harmony and sheer command of expressive effects throughout this dramatic and substantial (7-minutes) little masterpiece. … If there is a more perfect evocation of text, more ideally sung, than Paulus’ setting of the Elinor Wylie poem “Little Elegy”, I haven’t heard it; out of the whole program, this little piece will certainly be the one to prompt numerous returns to the replay button. Simple, poignant, and powerful, its lines capture the emotion that overwhelms the soul with the loss of one dearly loved. … The choral singing is superb, as it is throughout this first-rate production, and in the accompanied selections the orchestra acquits itself equally well. True Concord Voices and its conductor Eric Holtan truly had a special relationship with Stephen Paulus and his music, and one couldn’t ask for more authoritative, caring, or musically refined advocates. Anyone wishing to get to know–or to know better–this very fine and sorely missed composer should be sure not to miss this.” —David Vernier, ClassicsToday

Read the full review on

Order & Listen Now:
Apple Music

Labels: , , , ,