Crossing Over

Crossing Over

7.99 17.99

Artist: Skylark Vocal Ensemble

Composers: Daniel Elder, John Tavener, Nicolai Kedrov, Jón Leifs, Robert Vuichard, William Schuman, Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Format: 1 CD + 1 Pure Audio Blu-ray


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Crossing Over is comprised of compositions that depict the dream state at the end of life. Featuring unique voices in choral composition from around the world, and including several world premiere recordings, Crossing Over will take audiences on a musical and emotional journey that will tap deeply into the human spirit and illuminate the mystery of the end of mortal life and the possibilities of a life beyond.

The album features several well-known contemporary composers, as well as compositional voices that are just gaining notoriety. Skylark will commemorate British composer Sir John Tavener with the first US commercial recording of “Butterfly Dreams”, an 8-movement dream-state piece composed in 2003. American composers will be prominently featured as well, with a rare recording of William Schuman’s “Carols of Death”, based on the poetry of Walt Whitman. Notably, the album will feature two young American compositional voices, with the debut recording of Robert Vuichard’s “Heliocentric Meditation” based on the poetry of John Donne, and a recording of “Elegy” by Daniel Elder, based on the tune “Taps,” played at United States military funerals. Skylark will also share stunning and seldom-heard music from the Icelandic choral tradition, including the first US recording of “Requiem” by Jón Leifs and an inspiring ancient psalm-setting by contemporary Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir. Thorvaldsdottir, recently named as the prestigious New York Philharmonic Kravis Emerging Composer, traveled from Iceland to work with Skylark during the sessions. 

The Skylark Vocal Ensemble is a chamber choir of professional soloists and music educators from across the United States. Formed in 2011 under the direction of Matthew Guard, Skylark has been described as “a gem… soloists who come together to create a dynamic and inspiring whole.” Skylark performs innovative programs that help reinforce the intent of the composers to communicate truths about the human condition. A not-for-profit entity, Skylark also performs educational outreach programs with students across the United States during their concert tours.

Track List

Daniel Elder (b. 1986)
1. Elegy 4:16

John Tavener (1944-2013)
Butterfly Dreams
2. 1. Butterfly Dreams based on Chuang Tse 1:42
3. 2. Haiku by Kokku :54              
4. 3. Haiku by Buson :54
4. 4. Haiku by Issa 1:10
6. 5. Haiku anon. :41
7. 6. The Butterfly by Pavel Friedmann 2:40
8. 7. Butterfly Song from Acoman Indian 2:20
9. 8. Butterfly Dreams based on Chuang Tse    1:52

Nicolai Kedrov (1871-1940)
10. Otche Nash 2:03

Jón Leifs (1899-1968)
11. Requiem        4:41

Robert Vuichard (b.1985)
12. Heliocentric Meditation         9:12

William Schuman (1910-1992)
Carols of Death
13. 1. The Last Invocation        3:29
14. 2. The Unknown Region        3:53
15. 3. To All, to Each        2:20

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977)
16. Heyr þú oss himnum á 4:27

John Tavener
17. Funeral Ikos 5:55

Total time: 52:23
Release date: March 25, 2016
UPC: 053479220028

Quotes & Reviews

…musically creative and intellectually rich.

Lucy Barnhouse, Opera Obsession

So much grace, so much dread, so much intelligent composure and so much terrified beauty are gathered here. If not to die for, this is music to die to. And what a way to go.

This is stark, desperate fear gone gorgeous, the sopranos vaulting over a foreboding drone in the bass voices. And at 45 seconds in? The entire choir couldn’t sound more angelic, dropping into a cradling, sweet space before the stabbing, furious stare of something dark returns.

Skylark comprises singers whose voices can sway you softly into calm and then all but throw you across the room with sheer harmonic force, radiant, trembling torrents of sound weaving vast sonic environments around you. Try it with good headphones. You’ll be a little different when Skylark is done with you.

Porter Anderson, Thought Catalog

…Skylark is only recently on the scene, but this album opener knowingly reaches in through the ribs and grips the vitals…

Doyle Armbrust, Q2 Music/WXQR

…gorgeous, evocative, and other-worldly…

Maggie Stapleton, Second Inversion

…be prepared to be inspired…

Dean Frey, Music for Several Instruments

Crossing Over is…a superbly sung and brilliantly sequenced album… 

If you love the sound of the human voice you will find it a deeply rewarding journey.

Jeremy Shatan, An Earful

Haunting and involving…

This is a significant classical release. Combining some world premier performances, a natural and beautifully ethereal recording, and a well thought-out program, this disc is highly recommended.

Audiophile Audition

It is this choir’s wonderful control and shaping of phrases, as well as its fine sonorities that adds so much to these performances.

…This is a truly wonderful disc of choral works. 

Bruce Reader, The Classical Reviewer

…musically creative and intellectually rich.
— Lucy Barnhouse

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