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Only in sleep

2010; S solo + SATB divisi; composed for the University of Louisville Collegiate Chorale and Cardinal Singers
author of text

Only in sleep was written in 2010 for the University of Louisville Collegiate Chorale and Cardinal Singers. Sara Teasdale’s nostalgic vision of childhood re-experienced through dreams is expressed in simple verse in regular metre, and Ešenvalds matches this in music of regular four-bar phrases. But infinitely subtle are the chord voicings; a change from humming to vocalise to spotlight a phrase here, or internal doublings to highlight a particular line in the texture there—all serve to sustain the freshness, and the soaring descants are achingly expressive. The soprano soloist heard at the opening returns at the close, lost in reverie, as her musing, florid arabesques float over one last pair of chordal oscillations, winding down to nothing.

from notes by Gabriel Jackson © 2015


Ešenvalds: Northern Lights & other choral works
Studio Master: CDA68083Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 16 on CDA68083 [5'17]

Track-specific metadata for CDA68083 track 16

Recording date
11 January 2014
Recording venue
Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
David Hinitt
Hyperion usage
  1. Ešenvalds: Northern Lights & other choral works (CDA68083)
    Disc 1 Track 16
    Release date: February 2015
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