Reviews

February, 2007

John The Revelator is an astonishing composition that breaks down stylistic differences and re-constructs them at the same time that Mr. Kline honors choral vocal traditions that go back centuries and still have the power to resonate and uplift today.  A blending of styles as diverse as Gregorian Chant, Bach, Machaut, American hymns, blues, Brian Wilson, Aaron Copland, and Samuel Barber, it is all seamlessly brought together in an organic whole, with the finest sense of compositional craftmanship.  This work is utterly moving as it progresses and coalesces Baroque counterpoint with more modernistic tendencies of writing, i.e.,hints of minimalism, blues, and post modernism.  Mr. Kline writes beautifully for the male vocal sextet Lionheart, playing to their individual and ensemble strengths with elegance, refinement and wit.  The texts are drawn from American hymns, the Book of Jeremiah, Samuel Beckett, the poet David Shapiro and bluesman Blind Willie Johnson.  The fact that Mr. Kline can draw from these disparate elements and create a harmonic work of such magnitude, in such an organic fashion is cause for celebration.  One hungers for an official studio recording/documentation of this extraordinary work.  Lionheart performed these works with consummate energy and commitment, their blend a sublime evocation of the texts.  Kudos to the staff at Joe�s Pub for a wonderful mic�ing of these superb voices.  The string quartet Ethel were their usually fastidious and committed selves, providing incisive support, when called upon to do so, both to Lionheart and Mr. Kline�s music.

-- John Hammel on his blog homegrownradionj.com


Lionheart is represented exclusively by Bernstein Artists and records for Koch International.

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