Reviews-Choral

Adonai Ro’i:

“Pieces like Michael Horvit’s “Even When God is Silent” and Judith Shatin’s “Adonai Ro’i” were beautifully shaped and provided a calm relief from the cheery folk styles. The best composition and performance of the night was probably “There Will Be Rest,” Frank Ticheli’s extended setting of two stanzas by Sara Teasdale.” – Timesunion.com

“Adonai Roi (Psalm 23) for a cappella SATB chorus was composed by Judith Shatin. It was written during the week after November 4, 1995 which marked the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, then Prime Minister of Israel. The text of Psalm 23 is sung in Hebrew with simplicity of texture and harmonic language. While the words of the text attempt to provide comfort to those morning this tragedy, there is an undercurrent of sadness and loss. There are many nice moments of texture and register contrasts in this accessible work.” –  Journal of the IAWM Volume 9, No. 2, 2003

“Adonai R’oi (1995): A short four-minute statement for mixed voices written in reaction to the 1995 assassina- tion of Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel. Adonai R’oi is the Hebrew text of Psalm 23. This remembrance is pre- sented in simple, homophonic fashion meant to comfort. Written as a lament, the close harmony in parallel move- ment keeps the text in the foreground.” – The Kapralova Society Journal


Alleluia:

“The composer’s notes on this piece, a three-and-a-half elaboration of the word “Alleluia,” associate it with the September 11 terrorist attacks, saying that her intent is “to express a blend of comfort and defiance, to sing against the dark, but in knowledge of it.” Although the tempo indication is “Gently,” I find the effect of the piece to be more in the direction of “relentless,” or at least, “inexorable,” but I don’t mean that pejoratively. The voices, frequently yoked in pairs (especially SA/TB), move in and out of various ostinato patterns, the rhythmic texture well-leavened with triplets. If performing forces are a worry, it may help to know that the soprano solo lasts only five  bars. This is not musical comfort-food, but it does have something powerful to say that is not necessarily out of place amid the C major of Eastertide, particularly in war-time” –  The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians


COAL:

“The chorus and conductor were impressive, with especially sweet tones achieved by the sopranos. My guess is that this is a work they will live with a long time, and as they get to know the more complex choral parts better, they will be able to be more aggressive in places that call for crisp rhythmic emphasis and unhesitating forward motion, such as in the dramatic climax or in such parts as “What Coal Makes.”

-Anna Larson, Read More.


Carreno:

“In Judith Shatin’s monodrama ”Carreno” (not to be confused with Pamela Ross’s one-woman show of the same name running Off Broadway), Ms. Innerarity took the stage by storm.

Teresa Carreno (1853-1917), a famous Venezuelan pianist, singer, conductor and composer, was something of a dynamo herself, and Ms. Innerarity, an accomplished actress and soprano and a passable pianist (reasonably convincing even in snippets of virtuoso concertos on a battered out-of-tune spinet), gave a gripping portrayal of the solitary older woman, reliving her public conquests and personal failures and misfortunes.” –  New York Times


I Am A Rose:

“Luminous seems the best word to describe this piece. I Am Rose shimmers and lingers, using harmonic clusters and repeating rhythmic figures to create what the composer refers to as ” a kind of mantra.” While this is not to neglect the sections of the work indicated as “whimsical,” “playful,” or “joyous,” the smooth and dreamy sections arethe true hallmarks of this work, winning one over with their feeling of timelessness.”   – The Choral Journal


The Jabberwocky:

The Jabberwocky, by Judith Shatin, English text, ECS, 6977, TTBB a cappella. This fanciful, creative work is brilliantly conceived and constructed to the famous poem by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). The piece opens with appropriate nonsense syllables on fast rhythms that must be sung with extreme accuracy. Humor is extremely important as you work to create an effective performance. Changing meters dominate and help with the proper text versification. The text painting is driven by well-conceived rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. Collectively they build a unified conception of tremendous poetic and musical expression. The harmonies are brilliant but approachable. A perfect choice for the ending of a concert, this is a great addition to the men’s choral repertory. Difficulty rating 4.” –  Choral Newsletter

“In pieces by Stravinski, Ross Whitney, Vytautas Miskinis, Stephen Smith, Morten Lauridsen and Judith Shatin, Huszti drew out inner voices by emphasizing excellent diction, and his reading of the mass, which started slowly, hit its stride in the changing moods of the credo. Dunaway, working with more transparent textures in the women’s set, molded splendid unisons and enlisted a fine group of soloists from the ensemble.” – Washington Post