State of Grace: Music of Paul Schwartz

State of Grace: Music of Paul Schwartz



Classical conductor and composer Paul Schwartz didn't forget his roots when he created the popular ambient opera albums Aria and Aria 2: New Horizon. Here he continues in a similar vein but draws upon the holier realms of liturgy and hymn. Lead vocalist Lisbeth Scott brings an extraordinary depth of feeling to pieces like "Amazing Grace." A warm bass sounds like a troubled heart, and horns breathe mournfully, later giving way to sparkling grooves and an angelic choir offering hope of redemption. Another highlight is "Be Still My Soul" based on Sibelius' Finlandia, an edge-of-your-seat song of soul wrestling and trying times. The classic Quaker tune "Simple Gifts" becomes a rollicking celebration, complete with brisk percussion, Irish tin whistle, and highland pipes. The textures thicken on tracks like "Miserere," with a full orchestra, subtle ambient grooves, and the Joyful Company of Singers providing a chorus that soars up to heaven. Gavin Wright's violin bowing leads the way on "Auguries of Innocence: Part I"; the orchestra conjures sublime impressionistic scenes while pizzicato strings pluck against a backdrop of electronic effervescence. Never one to hide behind gadgetry, Schwartz writes pieces that can be as sonically rich as the fanciest brocade or as simple as the title track, with just piano and violin. Indeed, as the composer states, "Grace is an appropriate summation of what we did on this CD."

Product Details

Release Date: 10/10/2000
Label: Windham Hill Records
UPC: 0019341156529
catalogNumber: 11565


  1. Veni Redemptor Gentium
  2. Amazing Grace
  3. Miserere
  4. Veni Creator Spiritus
  5. Auguries Of Innocence: Part 1
  6. Auguries Of Innocence: Part 2
  7. Be Still My Soul
  8. Angelica
  9. Simple Gifts
  10. State Of Grace

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