One of the many surprises on this album is a very moving version of 'The Holy City.' There's a "something" infused into this vision of milennial peace that led one reviewer to write, "The great 'Holy City'...brings tears to my eyes every time." (D.M. Schlüter) 'My Shepherd Will Supply My Need' has, by contrast, the calming simplicity of the folk tune and a beguiling melody. Julia Schechtman, her beautiful high notes, liveliness mixed with uplifting power, have been heard in the opera houses of Europe, in roles such as Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Figaro, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and others. Her wide taste in sacred songs results in a CD of originality that feels like a good friend, or, as one reviewer phrased it, "an album utterly companionable." Pieces of calm and comfort alternate with songs of bursting joy. The late-20th century settings of Psalm 100, Psalm 23, and 'The Song of Ruth,' are rewarding pieces, each concluding with moving grandeur and strength.
An undercurrent of reassurance infuses Haydn's joyful "How Marvelous"; Psalm 100 is a charge of energy. (Hear longer clips at iTunes and artist's website listed at lower left.) The entire album is a whole new take on classical sacred music.
This album "gives inspiration and strength for the day." (F. Dietrich) "Joy runs throughout this wonderful CD." (Rodman Neumann of Stirling Publishers) Brilliant piano - and sonorous beauty of the accompanying Bösendorfer.
On Boesendorfer is Saul Schechtman, conductor of the tv series Omnibus, chamber orchestra Orchestra Piccola, guest conductor with theater and radio orchestras in Germany, Holland, Scandanavia, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
(All songs also available on iTunes UK/Europe, Australia, Japan, and more. CD available also on international websites, as is the companion album, 'Eye on the Sparrow.')
"An impressive range of styles, yet all the selections are unified by the pure, thrilling beauty of her voice... At once, deeply meditative and joyous... An album utterly companionable, so keep it handy. It will lift sorrowful spirits and point the way to joy and peace." - Dr. L. Gott, review. "I was surprised how much I was moved by this new version of Psalm 23- whereas I had felt weary of that particular psalm by too long acquaintance, here it seemed fresh and revivified, and I could recapture its real meaning again. And the Song of Ruth is indescribable in its beauty."
"The warmth of Ms. Pabst’s voice and the quality of the acoustics let you feel as if you were sitting in the front row of the recital hall or even a private hearing." - R. Neumann
"Some songs are catchy, like the modern Psalm 100. Others are soothing, like 'Great Peace Have They' or 'The Beatitudes.' One or two give me a lump in my throat at the end, such as 'Psalm 23.' The acoustics are great - up close and personal." - from cduniverse review
"Her brilliant and gorgeous voice flows from her heart. It is a unique program with great variety." - Takae Ohnishi, Harpsichordist; Lecturer, UCSD
"Unusual for so vibrant a voice to have such a calming effect. The voice is a rare instrument, beautiful and very individual, you'd recognize it anywhere, and the artist is both expressive and self-effacing. The piano accompaniment is sensitive, stylistically flawless. And the musicians are very "present," you feel like you're in the front row...Highly recommended." - From review on amazon.com
"A voice that sounds like the sun coming out; a lovely, 'sunshiney' sound." - Carolyn R.
EXCERPTS FROM GERMAN OPERA REVIEWS:
"A stroke of luck: Julia Schechtman. Great expressivity, vocal presence in all registers, and modulative ability..."
"Her trustworthy musicianship, her masterly execution directed towards lyrical beauty of sound, evoked bravos and ovations."
— Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung
" Remarkable how Julia Schechtman masters the [nuances] with surety of intonation as well as vocal loveliness."
"… sparkled with a glorious voice that even in the top notes radiated clarity and surety."
— Westfaelische Rundschau