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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 psalmsetting 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.