Press

Press Quotes

The Classical Review
January 8, 2020

“Largely tonal, intensely dramatic"

David McConnell
ArtsNash
June 6, 2014

Alias followed with a performance of Bouldin’s “Agora,” set to Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy. I can see why this won the Pulitzer. The music is straightforward, neo-romantic, with some ingenious pairings of sub-tone clarinet with strings.

Orlando Sentinel
April 18, 2016

"The star attraction, however, was “Music, Awake!,” making its world premiere. Composed by Paul Moravec with words by Terry Teachout, the piece was commissioned by the society to honor John Sinclair for his 25 years as music director. … Moravec has nicely woven a more contemplative section about the power of music in dark times into the jubilance of the work."

Matthew Palm
Dallas Morning News
February 17, 2016

"From American composer Paul Moravec, born in 1957, came the 2003 Chamber Symphony, scored for flute, oboe, horn, violin, cello, piano and percussion. Here, too, is much sheer energy, the busy textures replete with shifting meters and dancing syncopations. The slow movement, marked “Slow, Singing, Rubato,” is icily atmospheric. Although the music doesn’t sound like Hindemith, it has a bit of the German composer’s DNA."

Scott Cantrell
The New York Times
September 9, 2012

“This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own. Geoffrey Burleson thrived on a piano part that becomes at times almost concertolike.”

James Oestrich
MinnPost
May 10, 2016

"Superbly conducted by Michael Christie, Moravec’s music rises, falls, teases, terrifies and whirls like a torrent around the room. At times, the sound of the strings hangs in the air like a darkening cloud. There are bright, exultant moments, such as the opening scene when the Torrances catch their first hopeful glimpse of the magnificent Overlook."

Pamela Espeland
Textura
February 10, 2020

“…the piece, especially when its richly melodic and emotionally expressive score is so accessible, is in its entirety a triumph.”

BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2016

"From Paul Moravec’s score full of discomfiting themes that clash and collide to strongly sung and disarmingly believable portrayals of characters alive and otherwise, “The Shining” is an unqualified success…"

International Record Review
April 2, 2014

While Moravec is a broadly tonal composer, the opening reveals music that is spare, delicate and mysterious. The organization of the ideas is not only skilled and restrained but also has a circular quality – motifs and gestures heard in the first movement recur later on. As Andrew Waggoner puts it in his booklet note: ‘Everything comes around in this work, around and together and apart again.’ It is a very well-written piece and one that draws on some extremely refined sonorities from the ensemble. It’s hard to imagine a more committed and carefully prepared performance – Denk and the Lark Quartet make a compelling case for it.”

Nigel Simeone
WQXR
January 8, 2013

“Northern Lights Electric, the title track on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 24th(!) self-released recording in five years, demonstrates just how finely matched the Project is to the album’s star composer, Paul Moravec. The polished sort of pleaser that could effortlessly raise the curtain on a subscription concert, this is a symphonic poem for people who love symphonic poems."

Sharps & Flatirons
May 9, 2016

“Moravec has set this tale with accessible, expressive music. The text can be clearly understood, thanks to both composer and cast, and supertitles are often not needed. There are moments of affecting lyrical beauty, particularly the moving (if predictable) final aria by Halloran, the resort’s cook and the story’s rescuer, who reassures Danny that “You’re doing fine by yourself . . . Just fine.” Other major characters — Jack, Wendy, and the spectral figure of Jack’s brutal father — all have expressive music.”

Peter Alexander
South Florida Classical Review
November 21, 2016

"Moravec’s score has been widely performed and for good reason. Both musically complex and enticing to the ear, the Tempest Fantasy is an outstanding 21st-century addition to the chamber music literature."

Lawrence Budmen
NPR
December 21, 2020

"The year opened with Sanctuary Road, a lyrical and historically vibrant oratorio by Paul Moravec, reintroducing William Still, an American hero who ushered hundreds of enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad and then documented it all."

Tom Huizienga
The Arts Fuse
January 24, 2013

"On Northern Lights Electric, Mr. Moravec gets a strong showing with two major pieces for orchestra (the eponymous work and “Sempre diritto!“) and two concerti, one for clarinet (masterfully performed by David Krakauer) and the other for cello (sensitively realized by Matt Haimovitz)."

Jonathan Blumhofer
The Horn Book
March 6, 2015

"Seasonally enough, last night I attended Blizzard of Voices, an oratorio by Paul Moravec (husband to your friend and mine Wendy Lamb). While you might have thought the warm and woody Jordan Hall would have been an oasis in Boston's horrible weather, Moravec's commemoration of the 1888 Schoolhouse Blizzard was terrible--in the exactest sense--in its evocation of the wind and cold and terror and death that swept over the Great Plains and killed more than two hundred people."

Roger Sutton
WQXR
March 7, 2016

"Bachmann plays with a high gloss that makes obvious Moravec’s gifts for lyrical writing, both in the concerto itself and in a pair of works for violin and piano: the pensive Equilibrium, composed for the present album; and the effusive, old-fashioned album leaf Evermore (2004)."

Classical CD Review
October 20, 2017

Lasting more than an hour, it is a major, unusual addition to the choral repertory.

Gramophone
April 19, 2014

Most impressive [on this disc] is Paul Moravec’s 23-minute, profoundly conservative, deeply absorbing Piano Quintet, commissioned in 2006 to honor the philanthropist Adam Aronson. Amid the rigorous charting of its blueprinted lines, textures and occasional harmonic ecstasies, there are astonishing moments of physical beauty, such as [the piano’s] sumptuous solo opening the second movement.

Laurence Vittes
The New York Times
September 9, 2012

"This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own."

James Oestreich
Boston Globe
January 25, 2016

“Paul Moravec’s “Brandenburg Gate” (No. 2) suggests not only the title arch but the fall of the Berlin Wall, with a musical motif based on the letters of Bach’s name.”

Jeffrey Gantz
Examiner
May 10, 2016

“Moravec and Campbell create a score that embellishes all the dread and mayhem that appear on stage.”

The New York Times
March 8, 2013

"Mr. Moravec’s response is that of a painter. Scored for six soloists and a large chorus and orchestra, the oratorio becomes a vast canvas filled with vivid depictions of nature; chiaroscuro changes in lighting; and individual characters fixed with quick, confident brush strokes… For the most part the music is tonal, and Mr. Moravec’s writing for the solo singers aims for an unaffected simplicity…The musical depiction of the outbreak of the storm was nothing short of terrifying."

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2018

"Moravec's powerful gift for melody and a thrusting line gave each of the soloists an opportunity to shine in rendering a variety of characters."

Richard Sasanow
Fanfare
May 14, 2013

“The effect of this music is that rare thing in this day: music that is deeply engaged with the tradition, mining familiar forms and gestures, and yet somehow giving them integrity, authenticity, and personality. I never feel this is a rehash. Moravec strikes me as one who has found a way to look into the resources of the past without becoming reactionary. I continue to eagerly anticipate his future discoveries.”

NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012

It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."

Frank J. Oteri
BroadwayWorld
February 10, 2020

“The compelling score by Moravec remains as melodic as it is thrilling. It not only creates a wall of pulsating sound for the chorus but also conceives a set of arias for the soloists that brings individual stories unmistakably to life–thanks to a libretto by Campbell that gathers vivid and heart-rending details from Still’s journals and turns them into real people.”

Richard Sasanow
Philadelphia Inqurier
March 8, 2013

"The Moravec concerto dates from 2010 but arrived at Symphony in C on Friday in revised form, with authoritative soloist Maria Bachmann and a much clearer train of thought as it walks a delicate line between melodiousness and a subterranean thread that gives it long-term continuity. Imagine Delius minus the attention deficit disorder."

David Patrick Stearns
MPR News
May 9, 2016

“Paul Moravec’s music sets the tone from the first moments. It’s a rich, multi-layered soundscape that breathes life into the Overlook Hotel, which is both the setting and the villain of the piece.”

Eric Ringham
Audiophile Audition
April 7, 2014

"This is a disc that reflects the wide range of American music in the 20th and 21st century."

John Sunier
NPR
January 22, 2013

“Northern Lights Electric is another terrific album from BMOP Sound, the five-year-old indie record label of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and its conductor Gil Rose. Together they make a strong case for Moravec’s ability to represent a broad range of musical real estate.”

Tom Huizenga
Classical MPR
May 8, 2016

“The new opera surges forward on the strength of electrifying music by Paul Moravec. The singers, performing a libretto by Mark Campbell, float atop the orchestral score like uncertain vessels on a roiling sea as their stay as demons awake to torture them. It’s a hell of a ride.”

Jay Gabler
Orlando Sentinel
October 24, 2016

"Called 'Light Shall Lift Us (for Orlando),' the 6-minute piece features lyrics by Mark Campbell. Both in music and words, the work is stirring in its simplicity, full of clear imagery and comforting symbolism."

Matthew Palm
Twin Cities
May 8, 2016

“What it lacks in showstopping solos, Moravec’s music makes up for in its ability to create tension and drive the conflict. It’s a demanding score, but conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra shape it with a deft blend of strength and subtlety.”

Rob Hubbard
OperaWire
May 9, 2018

"An episodic journey through history"

Logan Martell
Wall Street Journal
February 18, 2015

“Mr. Moravec’s program (Feb. 10) demonstrated his operatic bona fides in effective character pieces from his two completed operas, “The King’s Man,” about Benjamin Franklin, and “The Letter,” after W. Somerset Maugham, before unveiling a bit of his current project, “The Shining” — yes, an operatic setting of the Stephen King novel — which will have its premiere at the Minnesota Opera in 2016.”

Allan Kozinn
Gramophone
March 30, 2018

"The composer says in his booklet notes that ‘a well-balanced mixed chorus singing perfectly in tune strikes me as the most beautiful and resonant of sonorities’. The New England Conservatory Concert Choir and Chamber Singers give him all that and, with expert work from the orchestra and earnest, generally splendid work from the soloists, give a passionate and committed performance."

Laurence Vittes
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012

"Although Moravec originally composed the song cycle Vita Brevis for tenor and piano in 2001, he re-arranged it for voice and piano trio in 2009 and that is how it was presented on Saturday night by Farley with Moravec behind the piano, joined by NYCMF’s President and CEO Elmira Darvarova on violin and Samuel Magill on cello. It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."

Frank J. Oteri
Quartz
May 10, 2016

"The music conveys the tension building in the characters’ internal worlds as Jack’s sanity unravels…"

Gwynn Guilford
Boston Classical Review
March 6, 2015

"Moravec’s darkly tonal music captured these stories in powerful dramatic detail in this expansive, 70-minute work."

Aaron Keebaugh
Audio Video Club of Atlanta
April 21, 2014

…the Piano Quintet by Paul Moravec allows the [Lark Quartet] to respond to their stiffest challenge of all as they interact with pianist Jeremy Denk in a work that keeps all our artists constantly alert for the diverse ways its shape is constantly changing through morphing blue notes, stacked fifths in the piano, and textures that are variously terse and spiky, broadly stated, and luminous. This work will reveal more of its beauties to the listener upon repeated audition, something for which the artists share credit with the composer.

WRTI
February 24, 2020

"As WRTI continues to mark Black History Month, we feature an album that celebrates, through contemporary music, the writings of the 19th-century Philadelphia abolitionist William Still. Still wrote a book titled The Underground Railroad in 1872, which detailed his efforts aiding runaway slaves. Three years ago, that book inspired the Pulitzer-winning contemporary American composer Paul Moravec to write Sanctuary Road, a work he calls an 'American historical oratorio.'"

Kevin Gordon
ArtsNash
May 10, 2014

“…Paul Moravec’s Amorisms and Sacred Love Songs (both performed with the splendid vocalists of Portara Ensemble) – explored various aspects of love. Alias also premiered composer (and Alias cellist) Matt Walker’s Grooves for string quartet. All three of these works received memorable premieres.”

Musical America Worldwide
May 16, 2016

“This operatic treatment of Stephen King’s breakthrough horror-thriller (1977) manages not only to distill the narrative intensity of the original but—its most significant achievement—transforms The Shining into valid operatic terms that transcend the thriller trappings.”

Thomas May
Star Tribune
May 10, 2016

“…Moravec’s score for the opera incorporates propulsive, percussion-driven sounds for what could be called the “mad scenes” of Act Two, along with appropriately eerie moments as tension-builders, but most of the music is tonal and Romantic and yet doesn’t sound old-fashioned — the soaring, exultant lyricism, for instance, in the opening scene as Jack and the family anticipate — almost too eagerly — their “new life,” or at the very end, the beautifully written coda scene, where Dick Hallorann, the cook, consoles Danny and Wendy as the strings play delicate chamber music.”

Classical Voice North America
October 18, 2013

"American composer Paul Moravec, asked to write a short work for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s 20th anniversary, responded with a sort of Dagwood canapé, a mere four minutes in duration but stacked sky-high with a fridgeful of ideas."

Mike Greenberg
Black Grooves
February 3, 2020

“Sanctuary Road is a modern choral masterpiece, representing struggle and hope in the best of the oratorio tradition.”

Inquisitr
May 10, 2016

"Paul Moravec composed the music for The Shining, and reviews agree he did an excellent job instilling the Overlook with the blood-curdlingly creepy vibes Stephen King’s The Shining was meant to have. Moravec says The Shining was perfect for converting into a musical, because a large portion of the story centers around the internal struggles and inner monologues of the individual characters."

The Washington Post
March 11, 2013

"Two more-commonly heard quartets, by Leos Janacek and Antonin Dvorak, received professional but unremarkable renditions, while a relatively new work by American composer Paul Moravec stood out."

Charles Downey

Press Quotes

BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2018
"Moravec's powerful gift for melody and a thrusting line gave each of the soloists an opportunity to shine in rendering a variety of characters."
Richard Sasanow
Gramophone
April 19, 2014
Most impressive [on this disc] is Paul Moravec’s 23-minute, profoundly conservative, deeply absorbing Piano Quintet, commissioned in 2006 to honor the philanthropist Adam Aronson. Amid the rigorous charting of its blueprinted lines, textures and occasional harmonic ecstasies, there are astonishing moments of physical beauty, such as [the piano’s] sumptuous solo opening the second movement.
Laurence Vittes
Audiophile Audition
April 7, 2014
"This is a disc that reflects the wide range of American music in the 20th and 21st century."
John Sunier
WRTI
February 24, 2020
"As WRTI continues to mark Black History Month, we feature an album that celebrates, through contemporary music, the writings of the 19th-century Philadelphia abolitionist William Still. Still wrote a book titled The Underground Railroad in 1872, which detailed his efforts aiding runaway slaves. Three years ago, that book inspired the Pulitzer-winning contemporary American composer Paul Moravec to write Sanctuary Road, a work he calls an 'American historical oratorio.'"
Kevin Gordon
Sharps & Flatirons
May 9, 2016
“Moravec has set this tale with accessible, expressive music. The text can be clearly understood, thanks to both composer and cast, and supertitles are often not needed. There are moments of affecting lyrical beauty, particularly the moving (if predictable) final aria by Halloran, the resort’s cook and the story’s rescuer, who reassures Danny that “You’re doing fine by yourself . . . Just fine.” Other major characters — Jack, Wendy, and the spectral figure of Jack’s brutal father — all have expressive music.”
Peter Alexander
Wall Street Journal
February 18, 2015
“Mr. Moravec’s program (Feb. 10) demonstrated his operatic bona fides in effective character pieces from his two completed operas, “The King’s Man,” about Benjamin Franklin, and “The Letter,” after W. Somerset Maugham, before unveiling a bit of his current project, “The Shining” — yes, an operatic setting of the Stephen King novel — which will have its premiere at the Minnesota Opera in 2016.”
Allan Kozinn
Gramophone
March 30, 2018
"The composer says in his booklet notes that ‘a well-balanced mixed chorus singing perfectly in tune strikes me as the most beautiful and resonant of sonorities’. The New England Conservatory Concert Choir and Chamber Singers give him all that and, with expert work from the orchestra and earnest, generally splendid work from the soloists, give a passionate and committed performance."
Laurence Vittes
Orlando Sentinel
April 18, 2016
"The star attraction, however, was “Music, Awake!,” making its world premiere. Composed by Paul Moravec with words by Terry Teachout, the piece was commissioned by the society to honor John Sinclair for his 25 years as music director. … Moravec has nicely woven a more contemplative section about the power of music in dark times into the jubilance of the work."
Matthew Palm
Musical America Worldwide
May 16, 2016
“This operatic treatment of Stephen King’s breakthrough horror-thriller (1977) manages not only to distill the narrative intensity of the original but—its most significant achievement—transforms The Shining into valid operatic terms that transcend the thriller trappings.”
Thomas May
The Arts Fuse
January 24, 2013
"On Northern Lights Electric, Mr. Moravec gets a strong showing with two major pieces for orchestra (the eponymous work and “Sempre diritto!“) and two concerti, one for clarinet (masterfully performed by David Krakauer) and the other for cello (sensitively realized by Matt Haimovitz)."
Jonathan Blumhofer
Boston Classical Review
March 6, 2015
"Moravec’s darkly tonal music captured these stories in powerful dramatic detail in this expansive, 70-minute work."
Aaron Keebaugh
Twin Cities
May 8, 2016
“What it lacks in showstopping solos, Moravec’s music makes up for in its ability to create tension and drive the conflict. It’s a demanding score, but conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra shape it with a deft blend of strength and subtlety.”
Rob Hubbard
Star Tribune
May 10, 2016
“…Moravec’s score for the opera incorporates propulsive, percussion-driven sounds for what could be called the “mad scenes” of Act Two, along with appropriately eerie moments as tension-builders, but most of the music is tonal and Romantic and yet doesn’t sound old-fashioned — the soaring, exultant lyricism, for instance, in the opening scene as Jack and the family anticipate — almost too eagerly — their “new life,” or at the very end, the beautifully written coda scene, where Dick Hallorann, the cook, consoles Danny and Wendy as the strings play delicate chamber music.”
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012
It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."
Frank J. Oteri
The Washington Post
March 11, 2013
"Two more-commonly heard quartets, by Leos Janacek and Antonin Dvorak, received professional but unremarkable renditions, while a relatively new work by American composer Paul Moravec stood out."
Charles Downey
The Horn Book
March 6, 2015
"Seasonally enough, last night I attended Blizzard of Voices, an oratorio by Paul Moravec (husband to your friend and mine Wendy Lamb). While you might have thought the warm and woody Jordan Hall would have been an oasis in Boston's horrible weather, Moravec's commemoration of the 1888 Schoolhouse Blizzard was terrible--in the exactest sense--in its evocation of the wind and cold and terror and death that swept over the Great Plains and killed more than two hundred people."
Roger Sutton
NPR
December 21, 2020
"The year opened with Sanctuary Road, a lyrical and historically vibrant oratorio by Paul Moravec, reintroducing William Still, an American hero who ushered hundreds of enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad and then documented it all."
Tom Huizienga
BroadwayWorld
February 10, 2020
“The compelling score by Moravec remains as melodic as it is thrilling. It not only creates a wall of pulsating sound for the chorus but also conceives a set of arias for the soloists that brings individual stories unmistakably to life–thanks to a libretto by Campbell that gathers vivid and heart-rending details from Still’s journals and turns them into real people.”
Richard Sasanow
Orlando Sentinel
October 24, 2016
"Called 'Light Shall Lift Us (for Orlando),' the 6-minute piece features lyrics by Mark Campbell. Both in music and words, the work is stirring in its simplicity, full of clear imagery and comforting symbolism."
Matthew Palm
BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2016
"From Paul Moravec’s score full of discomfiting themes that clash and collide to strongly sung and disarmingly believable portrayals of characters alive and otherwise, “The Shining” is an unqualified success…"
Classical MPR
May 8, 2016
“The new opera surges forward on the strength of electrifying music by Paul Moravec. The singers, performing a libretto by Mark Campbell, float atop the orchestral score like uncertain vessels on a roiling sea as their stay as demons awake to torture them. It’s a hell of a ride.”
Jay Gabler
South Florida Classical Review
November 21, 2016
"Moravec’s score has been widely performed and for good reason. Both musically complex and enticing to the ear, the Tempest Fantasy is an outstanding 21st-century addition to the chamber music literature."
Lawrence Budmen
Black Grooves
February 3, 2020
“Sanctuary Road is a modern choral masterpiece, representing struggle and hope in the best of the oratorio tradition.”
Philadelphia Inqurier
March 8, 2013
"The Moravec concerto dates from 2010 but arrived at Symphony in C on Friday in revised form, with authoritative soloist Maria Bachmann and a much clearer train of thought as it walks a delicate line between melodiousness and a subterranean thread that gives it long-term continuity. Imagine Delius minus the attention deficit disorder."
David Patrick Stearns
Boston Globe
January 25, 2016
“Paul Moravec’s “Brandenburg Gate” (No. 2) suggests not only the title arch but the fall of the Berlin Wall, with a musical motif based on the letters of Bach’s name.”
Jeffrey Gantz
The New York Times
March 8, 2013
"Mr. Moravec’s response is that of a painter. Scored for six soloists and a large chorus and orchestra, the oratorio becomes a vast canvas filled with vivid depictions of nature; chiaroscuro changes in lighting; and individual characters fixed with quick, confident brush strokes… For the most part the music is tonal, and Mr. Moravec’s writing for the solo singers aims for an unaffected simplicity…The musical depiction of the outbreak of the storm was nothing short of terrifying."
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012
"Although Moravec originally composed the song cycle Vita Brevis for tenor and piano in 2001, he re-arranged it for voice and piano trio in 2009 and that is how it was presented on Saturday night by Farley with Moravec behind the piano, joined by NYCMF’s President and CEO Elmira Darvarova on violin and Samuel Magill on cello. It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."
Frank J. Oteri
Classical CD Review
October 20, 2017
Lasting more than an hour, it is a major, unusual addition to the choral repertory.
ArtsNash
June 6, 2014
Alias followed with a performance of Bouldin’s “Agora,” set to Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy. I can see why this won the Pulitzer. The music is straightforward, neo-romantic, with some ingenious pairings of sub-tone clarinet with strings.
The Classical Review
January 8, 2020
“Largely tonal, intensely dramatic"
David McConnell
Quartz
May 10, 2016
"The music conveys the tension building in the characters’ internal worlds as Jack’s sanity unravels…"
Gwynn Guilford
ArtsNash
May 10, 2014
“…Paul Moravec’s Amorisms and Sacred Love Songs (both performed with the splendid vocalists of Portara Ensemble) – explored various aspects of love. Alias also premiered composer (and Alias cellist) Matt Walker’s Grooves for string quartet. All three of these works received memorable premieres.”
Dallas Morning News
February 17, 2016
"From American composer Paul Moravec, born in 1957, came the 2003 Chamber Symphony, scored for flute, oboe, horn, violin, cello, piano and percussion. Here, too, is much sheer energy, the busy textures replete with shifting meters and dancing syncopations. The slow movement, marked “Slow, Singing, Rubato,” is icily atmospheric. Although the music doesn’t sound like Hindemith, it has a bit of the German composer’s DNA."
Scott Cantrell
Classical Voice North America
October 18, 2013
"American composer Paul Moravec, asked to write a short work for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s 20th anniversary, responded with a sort of Dagwood canapé, a mere four minutes in duration but stacked sky-high with a fridgeful of ideas."
Mike Greenberg
Examiner
May 10, 2016
“Moravec and Campbell create a score that embellishes all the dread and mayhem that appear on stage.”
Audio Video Club of Atlanta
April 21, 2014
…the Piano Quintet by Paul Moravec allows the [Lark Quartet] to respond to their stiffest challenge of all as they interact with pianist Jeremy Denk in a work that keeps all our artists constantly alert for the diverse ways its shape is constantly changing through morphing blue notes, stacked fifths in the piano, and textures that are variously terse and spiky, broadly stated, and luminous. This work will reveal more of its beauties to the listener upon repeated audition, something for which the artists share credit with the composer.
OperaWire
May 9, 2018
"An episodic journey through history"
Logan Martell
Textura
February 10, 2020
“…the piece, especially when its richly melodic and emotionally expressive score is so accessible, is in its entirety a triumph.”
Inquisitr
May 10, 2016
"Paul Moravec composed the music for The Shining, and reviews agree he did an excellent job instilling the Overlook with the blood-curdlingly creepy vibes Stephen King’s The Shining was meant to have. Moravec says The Shining was perfect for converting into a musical, because a large portion of the story centers around the internal struggles and inner monologues of the individual characters."
International Record Review
April 2, 2014
While Moravec is a broadly tonal composer, the opening reveals music that is spare, delicate and mysterious. The organization of the ideas is not only skilled and restrained but also has a circular quality – motifs and gestures heard in the first movement recur later on. As Andrew Waggoner puts it in his booklet note: ‘Everything comes around in this work, around and together and apart again.’ It is a very well-written piece and one that draws on some extremely refined sonorities from the ensemble. It’s hard to imagine a more committed and carefully prepared performance – Denk and the Lark Quartet make a compelling case for it.”
Nigel Simeone
WQXR
March 7, 2016
"Bachmann plays with a high gloss that makes obvious Moravec’s gifts for lyrical writing, both in the concerto itself and in a pair of works for violin and piano: the pensive Equilibrium, composed for the present album; and the effusive, old-fashioned album leaf Evermore (2004)."
MPR News
May 9, 2016
“Paul Moravec’s music sets the tone from the first moments. It’s a rich, multi-layered soundscape that breathes life into the Overlook Hotel, which is both the setting and the villain of the piece.”
Eric Ringham
Fanfare
May 14, 2013
“The effect of this music is that rare thing in this day: music that is deeply engaged with the tradition, mining familiar forms and gestures, and yet somehow giving them integrity, authenticity, and personality. I never feel this is a rehash. Moravec strikes me as one who has found a way to look into the resources of the past without becoming reactionary. I continue to eagerly anticipate his future discoveries.”
WQXR
January 8, 2013
“Northern Lights Electric, the title track on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 24th(!) self-released recording in five years, demonstrates just how finely matched the Project is to the album’s star composer, Paul Moravec. The polished sort of pleaser that could effortlessly raise the curtain on a subscription concert, this is a symphonic poem for people who love symphonic poems."
The New York Times
September 9, 2012
"This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own."
James Oestreich
MinnPost
May 10, 2016
"Superbly conducted by Michael Christie, Moravec’s music rises, falls, teases, terrifies and whirls like a torrent around the room. At times, the sound of the strings hangs in the air like a darkening cloud. There are bright, exultant moments, such as the opening scene when the Torrances catch their first hopeful glimpse of the magnificent Overlook."
Pamela Espeland
NPR
January 22, 2013
“Northern Lights Electric is another terrific album from BMOP Sound, the five-year-old indie record label of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and its conductor Gil Rose. Together they make a strong case for Moravec’s ability to represent a broad range of musical real estate.”
Tom Huizenga
The New York Times
September 9, 2012
“This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own. Geoffrey Burleson thrived on a piano part that becomes at times almost concertolike.”
James Oestrich

Press Quotes

The New York Times
September 9, 2012
“This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own. Geoffrey Burleson thrived on a piano part that becomes at times almost concertolike.”
James Oestrich
Gramophone
April 19, 2014
Most impressive [on this disc] is Paul Moravec’s 23-minute, profoundly conservative, deeply absorbing Piano Quintet, commissioned in 2006 to honor the philanthropist Adam Aronson. Amid the rigorous charting of its blueprinted lines, textures and occasional harmonic ecstasies, there are astonishing moments of physical beauty, such as [the piano’s] sumptuous solo opening the second movement.
Laurence Vittes
Boston Globe
January 25, 2016
“Paul Moravec’s “Brandenburg Gate” (No. 2) suggests not only the title arch but the fall of the Berlin Wall, with a musical motif based on the letters of Bach’s name.”
Jeffrey Gantz
Classical Voice North America
October 18, 2013
"American composer Paul Moravec, asked to write a short work for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s 20th anniversary, responded with a sort of Dagwood canapé, a mere four minutes in duration but stacked sky-high with a fridgeful of ideas."
Mike Greenberg
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012
It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."
Frank J. Oteri
MPR News
May 9, 2016
“Paul Moravec’s music sets the tone from the first moments. It’s a rich, multi-layered soundscape that breathes life into the Overlook Hotel, which is both the setting and the villain of the piece.”
Eric Ringham
MinnPost
May 10, 2016
"Superbly conducted by Michael Christie, Moravec’s music rises, falls, teases, terrifies and whirls like a torrent around the room. At times, the sound of the strings hangs in the air like a darkening cloud. There are bright, exultant moments, such as the opening scene when the Torrances catch their first hopeful glimpse of the magnificent Overlook."
Pamela Espeland
Audio Video Club of Atlanta
April 21, 2014
…the Piano Quintet by Paul Moravec allows the [Lark Quartet] to respond to their stiffest challenge of all as they interact with pianist Jeremy Denk in a work that keeps all our artists constantly alert for the diverse ways its shape is constantly changing through morphing blue notes, stacked fifths in the piano, and textures that are variously terse and spiky, broadly stated, and luminous. This work will reveal more of its beauties to the listener upon repeated audition, something for which the artists share credit with the composer.
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012
"Although Moravec originally composed the song cycle Vita Brevis for tenor and piano in 2001, he re-arranged it for voice and piano trio in 2009 and that is how it was presented on Saturday night by Farley with Moravec behind the piano, joined by NYCMF’s President and CEO Elmira Darvarova on violin and Samuel Magill on cello. It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."
Frank J. Oteri
Sharps & Flatirons
May 9, 2016
“Moravec has set this tale with accessible, expressive music. The text can be clearly understood, thanks to both composer and cast, and supertitles are often not needed. There are moments of affecting lyrical beauty, particularly the moving (if predictable) final aria by Halloran, the resort’s cook and the story’s rescuer, who reassures Danny that “You’re doing fine by yourself . . . Just fine.” Other major characters — Jack, Wendy, and the spectral figure of Jack’s brutal father — all have expressive music.”
Peter Alexander
Classical MPR
May 8, 2016
“The new opera surges forward on the strength of electrifying music by Paul Moravec. The singers, performing a libretto by Mark Campbell, float atop the orchestral score like uncertain vessels on a roiling sea as their stay as demons awake to torture them. It’s a hell of a ride.”
Jay Gabler
BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2018
"Moravec's powerful gift for melody and a thrusting line gave each of the soloists an opportunity to shine in rendering a variety of characters."
Richard Sasanow
Gramophone
March 30, 2018
"The composer says in his booklet notes that ‘a well-balanced mixed chorus singing perfectly in tune strikes me as the most beautiful and resonant of sonorities’. The New England Conservatory Concert Choir and Chamber Singers give him all that and, with expert work from the orchestra and earnest, generally splendid work from the soloists, give a passionate and committed performance."
Laurence Vittes
WRTI
February 24, 2020
"As WRTI continues to mark Black History Month, we feature an album that celebrates, through contemporary music, the writings of the 19th-century Philadelphia abolitionist William Still. Still wrote a book titled The Underground Railroad in 1872, which detailed his efforts aiding runaway slaves. Three years ago, that book inspired the Pulitzer-winning contemporary American composer Paul Moravec to write Sanctuary Road, a work he calls an 'American historical oratorio.'"
Kevin Gordon
WQXR
March 7, 2016
"Bachmann plays with a high gloss that makes obvious Moravec’s gifts for lyrical writing, both in the concerto itself and in a pair of works for violin and piano: the pensive Equilibrium, composed for the present album; and the effusive, old-fashioned album leaf Evermore (2004)."
BroadwayWorld
February 10, 2020
“The compelling score by Moravec remains as melodic as it is thrilling. It not only creates a wall of pulsating sound for the chorus but also conceives a set of arias for the soloists that brings individual stories unmistakably to life–thanks to a libretto by Campbell that gathers vivid and heart-rending details from Still’s journals and turns them into real people.”
Richard Sasanow
International Record Review
April 2, 2014
While Moravec is a broadly tonal composer, the opening reveals music that is spare, delicate and mysterious. The organization of the ideas is not only skilled and restrained but also has a circular quality – motifs and gestures heard in the first movement recur later on. As Andrew Waggoner puts it in his booklet note: ‘Everything comes around in this work, around and together and apart again.’ It is a very well-written piece and one that draws on some extremely refined sonorities from the ensemble. It’s hard to imagine a more committed and carefully prepared performance – Denk and the Lark Quartet make a compelling case for it.”
Nigel Simeone
Wall Street Journal
February 18, 2015
“Mr. Moravec’s program (Feb. 10) demonstrated his operatic bona fides in effective character pieces from his two completed operas, “The King’s Man,” about Benjamin Franklin, and “The Letter,” after W. Somerset Maugham, before unveiling a bit of his current project, “The Shining” — yes, an operatic setting of the Stephen King novel — which will have its premiere at the Minnesota Opera in 2016.”
Allan Kozinn
The Arts Fuse
January 24, 2013
"On Northern Lights Electric, Mr. Moravec gets a strong showing with two major pieces for orchestra (the eponymous work and “Sempre diritto!“) and two concerti, one for clarinet (masterfully performed by David Krakauer) and the other for cello (sensitively realized by Matt Haimovitz)."
Jonathan Blumhofer
The Horn Book
March 6, 2015
"Seasonally enough, last night I attended Blizzard of Voices, an oratorio by Paul Moravec (husband to your friend and mine Wendy Lamb). While you might have thought the warm and woody Jordan Hall would have been an oasis in Boston's horrible weather, Moravec's commemoration of the 1888 Schoolhouse Blizzard was terrible--in the exactest sense--in its evocation of the wind and cold and terror and death that swept over the Great Plains and killed more than two hundred people."
Roger Sutton
Orlando Sentinel
October 24, 2016
"Called 'Light Shall Lift Us (for Orlando),' the 6-minute piece features lyrics by Mark Campbell. Both in music and words, the work is stirring in its simplicity, full of clear imagery and comforting symbolism."
Matthew Palm
OperaWire
May 9, 2018
"An episodic journey through history"
Logan Martell
NPR
December 21, 2020
"The year opened with Sanctuary Road, a lyrical and historically vibrant oratorio by Paul Moravec, reintroducing William Still, an American hero who ushered hundreds of enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad and then documented it all."
Tom Huizienga
Examiner
May 10, 2016
“Moravec and Campbell create a score that embellishes all the dread and mayhem that appear on stage.”
Textura
February 10, 2020
“…the piece, especially when its richly melodic and emotionally expressive score is so accessible, is in its entirety a triumph.”
ArtsNash
May 10, 2014
“…Paul Moravec’s Amorisms and Sacred Love Songs (both performed with the splendid vocalists of Portara Ensemble) – explored various aspects of love. Alias also premiered composer (and Alias cellist) Matt Walker’s Grooves for string quartet. All three of these works received memorable premieres.”
Orlando Sentinel
April 18, 2016
"The star attraction, however, was “Music, Awake!,” making its world premiere. Composed by Paul Moravec with words by Terry Teachout, the piece was commissioned by the society to honor John Sinclair for his 25 years as music director. … Moravec has nicely woven a more contemplative section about the power of music in dark times into the jubilance of the work."
Matthew Palm
The New York Times
March 8, 2013
"Mr. Moravec’s response is that of a painter. Scored for six soloists and a large chorus and orchestra, the oratorio becomes a vast canvas filled with vivid depictions of nature; chiaroscuro changes in lighting; and individual characters fixed with quick, confident brush strokes… For the most part the music is tonal, and Mr. Moravec’s writing for the solo singers aims for an unaffected simplicity…The musical depiction of the outbreak of the storm was nothing short of terrifying."
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
South Florida Classical Review
November 21, 2016
"Moravec’s score has been widely performed and for good reason. Both musically complex and enticing to the ear, the Tempest Fantasy is an outstanding 21st-century addition to the chamber music literature."
Lawrence Budmen
Musical America Worldwide
May 16, 2016
“This operatic treatment of Stephen King’s breakthrough horror-thriller (1977) manages not only to distill the narrative intensity of the original but—its most significant achievement—transforms The Shining into valid operatic terms that transcend the thriller trappings.”
Thomas May
Black Grooves
February 3, 2020
“Sanctuary Road is a modern choral masterpiece, representing struggle and hope in the best of the oratorio tradition.”
Classical CD Review
October 20, 2017
Lasting more than an hour, it is a major, unusual addition to the choral repertory.
Philadelphia Inqurier
March 8, 2013
"The Moravec concerto dates from 2010 but arrived at Symphony in C on Friday in revised form, with authoritative soloist Maria Bachmann and a much clearer train of thought as it walks a delicate line between melodiousness and a subterranean thread that gives it long-term continuity. Imagine Delius minus the attention deficit disorder."
David Patrick Stearns
ArtsNash
June 6, 2014
Alias followed with a performance of Bouldin’s “Agora,” set to Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy. I can see why this won the Pulitzer. The music is straightforward, neo-romantic, with some ingenious pairings of sub-tone clarinet with strings.
WQXR
January 8, 2013
“Northern Lights Electric, the title track on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 24th(!) self-released recording in five years, demonstrates just how finely matched the Project is to the album’s star composer, Paul Moravec. The polished sort of pleaser that could effortlessly raise the curtain on a subscription concert, this is a symphonic poem for people who love symphonic poems."
Audiophile Audition
April 7, 2014
"This is a disc that reflects the wide range of American music in the 20th and 21st century."
John Sunier
Boston Classical Review
March 6, 2015
"Moravec’s darkly tonal music captured these stories in powerful dramatic detail in this expansive, 70-minute work."
Aaron Keebaugh
Star Tribune
May 10, 2016
“…Moravec’s score for the opera incorporates propulsive, percussion-driven sounds for what could be called the “mad scenes” of Act Two, along with appropriately eerie moments as tension-builders, but most of the music is tonal and Romantic and yet doesn’t sound old-fashioned — the soaring, exultant lyricism, for instance, in the opening scene as Jack and the family anticipate — almost too eagerly — their “new life,” or at the very end, the beautifully written coda scene, where Dick Hallorann, the cook, consoles Danny and Wendy as the strings play delicate chamber music.”
Twin Cities
May 8, 2016
“What it lacks in showstopping solos, Moravec’s music makes up for in its ability to create tension and drive the conflict. It’s a demanding score, but conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra shape it with a deft blend of strength and subtlety.”
Rob Hubbard
BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2016
"From Paul Moravec’s score full of discomfiting themes that clash and collide to strongly sung and disarmingly believable portrayals of characters alive and otherwise, “The Shining” is an unqualified success…"
NPR
January 22, 2013
“Northern Lights Electric is another terrific album from BMOP Sound, the five-year-old indie record label of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and its conductor Gil Rose. Together they make a strong case for Moravec’s ability to represent a broad range of musical real estate.”
Tom Huizenga
Inquisitr
May 10, 2016
"Paul Moravec composed the music for The Shining, and reviews agree he did an excellent job instilling the Overlook with the blood-curdlingly creepy vibes Stephen King’s The Shining was meant to have. Moravec says The Shining was perfect for converting into a musical, because a large portion of the story centers around the internal struggles and inner monologues of the individual characters."
The New York Times
September 9, 2012
"This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own."
James Oestreich
Fanfare
May 14, 2013
“The effect of this music is that rare thing in this day: music that is deeply engaged with the tradition, mining familiar forms and gestures, and yet somehow giving them integrity, authenticity, and personality. I never feel this is a rehash. Moravec strikes me as one who has found a way to look into the resources of the past without becoming reactionary. I continue to eagerly anticipate his future discoveries.”
Dallas Morning News
February 17, 2016
"From American composer Paul Moravec, born in 1957, came the 2003 Chamber Symphony, scored for flute, oboe, horn, violin, cello, piano and percussion. Here, too, is much sheer energy, the busy textures replete with shifting meters and dancing syncopations. The slow movement, marked “Slow, Singing, Rubato,” is icily atmospheric. Although the music doesn’t sound like Hindemith, it has a bit of the German composer’s DNA."
Scott Cantrell
The Washington Post
March 11, 2013
"Two more-commonly heard quartets, by Leos Janacek and Antonin Dvorak, received professional but unremarkable renditions, while a relatively new work by American composer Paul Moravec stood out."
Charles Downey
The Classical Review
January 8, 2020
“Largely tonal, intensely dramatic"
David McConnell
Quartz
May 10, 2016
"The music conveys the tension building in the characters’ internal worlds as Jack’s sanity unravels…"
Gwynn Guilford

Press Quotes

The New York Times
March 8, 2013

"Mr. Moravec’s response is that of a painter. Scored for six soloists and a large chorus and orchestra, the oratorio becomes a vast canvas filled with vivid depictions of nature; chiaroscuro changes in lighting; and individual characters fixed with quick, confident brush strokes… For the most part the music is tonal, and Mr. Moravec’s writing for the solo singers aims for an unaffected simplicity…The musical depiction of the outbreak of the storm was nothing short of terrifying."

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
Examiner
May 10, 2016

“Moravec and Campbell create a score that embellishes all the dread and mayhem that appear on stage.”

MPR News
May 9, 2016

“Paul Moravec’s music sets the tone from the first moments. It’s a rich, multi-layered soundscape that breathes life into the Overlook Hotel, which is both the setting and the villain of the piece.”

Eric Ringham
WRTI
February 24, 2020

"As WRTI continues to mark Black History Month, we feature an album that celebrates, through contemporary music, the writings of the 19th-century Philadelphia abolitionist William Still. Still wrote a book titled The Underground Railroad in 1872, which detailed his efforts aiding runaway slaves. Three years ago, that book inspired the Pulitzer-winning contemporary American composer Paul Moravec to write Sanctuary Road, a work he calls an 'American historical oratorio.'"

Kevin Gordon
OperaWire
May 9, 2018

"An episodic journey through history"

Logan Martell
Orlando Sentinel
October 24, 2016

"Called 'Light Shall Lift Us (for Orlando),' the 6-minute piece features lyrics by Mark Campbell. Both in music and words, the work is stirring in its simplicity, full of clear imagery and comforting symbolism."

Matthew Palm
Audio Video Club of Atlanta
April 21, 2014

…the Piano Quintet by Paul Moravec allows the [Lark Quartet] to respond to their stiffest challenge of all as they interact with pianist Jeremy Denk in a work that keeps all our artists constantly alert for the diverse ways its shape is constantly changing through morphing blue notes, stacked fifths in the piano, and textures that are variously terse and spiky, broadly stated, and luminous. This work will reveal more of its beauties to the listener upon repeated audition, something for which the artists share credit with the composer.

The Classical Review
January 8, 2020

“Largely tonal, intensely dramatic"

David McConnell
Inquisitr
May 10, 2016

"Paul Moravec composed the music for The Shining, and reviews agree he did an excellent job instilling the Overlook with the blood-curdlingly creepy vibes Stephen King’s The Shining was meant to have. Moravec says The Shining was perfect for converting into a musical, because a large portion of the story centers around the internal struggles and inner monologues of the individual characters."

The Arts Fuse
January 24, 2013

"On Northern Lights Electric, Mr. Moravec gets a strong showing with two major pieces for orchestra (the eponymous work and “Sempre diritto!“) and two concerti, one for clarinet (masterfully performed by David Krakauer) and the other for cello (sensitively realized by Matt Haimovitz)."

Jonathan Blumhofer
Textura
February 10, 2020

“…the piece, especially when its richly melodic and emotionally expressive score is so accessible, is in its entirety a triumph.”

Gramophone
March 30, 2018

"The composer says in his booklet notes that ‘a well-balanced mixed chorus singing perfectly in tune strikes me as the most beautiful and resonant of sonorities’. The New England Conservatory Concert Choir and Chamber Singers give him all that and, with expert work from the orchestra and earnest, generally splendid work from the soloists, give a passionate and committed performance."

Laurence Vittes
Dallas Morning News
February 17, 2016

"From American composer Paul Moravec, born in 1957, came the 2003 Chamber Symphony, scored for flute, oboe, horn, violin, cello, piano and percussion. Here, too, is much sheer energy, the busy textures replete with shifting meters and dancing syncopations. The slow movement, marked “Slow, Singing, Rubato,” is icily atmospheric. Although the music doesn’t sound like Hindemith, it has a bit of the German composer’s DNA."

Scott Cantrell
International Record Review
April 2, 2014

While Moravec is a broadly tonal composer, the opening reveals music that is spare, delicate and mysterious. The organization of the ideas is not only skilled and restrained but also has a circular quality – motifs and gestures heard in the first movement recur later on. As Andrew Waggoner puts it in his booklet note: ‘Everything comes around in this work, around and together and apart again.’ It is a very well-written piece and one that draws on some extremely refined sonorities from the ensemble. It’s hard to imagine a more committed and carefully prepared performance – Denk and the Lark Quartet make a compelling case for it.”

Nigel Simeone
Quartz
May 10, 2016

"The music conveys the tension building in the characters’ internal worlds as Jack’s sanity unravels…"

Gwynn Guilford
Black Grooves
February 3, 2020

“Sanctuary Road is a modern choral masterpiece, representing struggle and hope in the best of the oratorio tradition.”

Boston Classical Review
March 6, 2015

"Moravec’s darkly tonal music captured these stories in powerful dramatic detail in this expansive, 70-minute work."

Aaron Keebaugh
BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2018

"Moravec's powerful gift for melody and a thrusting line gave each of the soloists an opportunity to shine in rendering a variety of characters."

Richard Sasanow
South Florida Classical Review
November 21, 2016

"Moravec’s score has been widely performed and for good reason. Both musically complex and enticing to the ear, the Tempest Fantasy is an outstanding 21st-century addition to the chamber music literature."

Lawrence Budmen
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012

"Although Moravec originally composed the song cycle Vita Brevis for tenor and piano in 2001, he re-arranged it for voice and piano trio in 2009 and that is how it was presented on Saturday night by Farley with Moravec behind the piano, joined by NYCMF’s President and CEO Elmira Darvarova on violin and Samuel Magill on cello. It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."

Frank J. Oteri
Orlando Sentinel
April 18, 2016

"The star attraction, however, was “Music, Awake!,” making its world premiere. Composed by Paul Moravec with words by Terry Teachout, the piece was commissioned by the society to honor John Sinclair for his 25 years as music director. … Moravec has nicely woven a more contemplative section about the power of music in dark times into the jubilance of the work."

Matthew Palm
Classical CD Review
October 20, 2017

Lasting more than an hour, it is a major, unusual addition to the choral repertory.

ArtsNash
May 10, 2014

“…Paul Moravec’s Amorisms and Sacred Love Songs (both performed with the splendid vocalists of Portara Ensemble) – explored various aspects of love. Alias also premiered composer (and Alias cellist) Matt Walker’s Grooves for string quartet. All three of these works received memorable premieres.”

NPR
January 22, 2013

“Northern Lights Electric is another terrific album from BMOP Sound, the five-year-old indie record label of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and its conductor Gil Rose. Together they make a strong case for Moravec’s ability to represent a broad range of musical real estate.”

Tom Huizenga
Boston Globe
January 25, 2016

“Paul Moravec’s “Brandenburg Gate” (No. 2) suggests not only the title arch but the fall of the Berlin Wall, with a musical motif based on the letters of Bach’s name.”

Jeffrey Gantz
Philadelphia Inqurier
March 8, 2013

"The Moravec concerto dates from 2010 but arrived at Symphony in C on Friday in revised form, with authoritative soloist Maria Bachmann and a much clearer train of thought as it walks a delicate line between melodiousness and a subterranean thread that gives it long-term continuity. Imagine Delius minus the attention deficit disorder."

David Patrick Stearns
Star Tribune
May 10, 2016

“…Moravec’s score for the opera incorporates propulsive, percussion-driven sounds for what could be called the “mad scenes” of Act Two, along with appropriately eerie moments as tension-builders, but most of the music is tonal and Romantic and yet doesn’t sound old-fashioned — the soaring, exultant lyricism, for instance, in the opening scene as Jack and the family anticipate — almost too eagerly — their “new life,” or at the very end, the beautifully written coda scene, where Dick Hallorann, the cook, consoles Danny and Wendy as the strings play delicate chamber music.”

Gramophone
April 19, 2014

Most impressive [on this disc] is Paul Moravec’s 23-minute, profoundly conservative, deeply absorbing Piano Quintet, commissioned in 2006 to honor the philanthropist Adam Aronson. Amid the rigorous charting of its blueprinted lines, textures and occasional harmonic ecstasies, there are astonishing moments of physical beauty, such as [the piano’s] sumptuous solo opening the second movement.

Laurence Vittes
Audiophile Audition
April 7, 2014

"This is a disc that reflects the wide range of American music in the 20th and 21st century."

John Sunier
Classical MPR
May 8, 2016

“The new opera surges forward on the strength of electrifying music by Paul Moravec. The singers, performing a libretto by Mark Campbell, float atop the orchestral score like uncertain vessels on a roiling sea as their stay as demons awake to torture them. It’s a hell of a ride.”

Jay Gabler
The Horn Book
March 6, 2015

"Seasonally enough, last night I attended Blizzard of Voices, an oratorio by Paul Moravec (husband to your friend and mine Wendy Lamb). While you might have thought the warm and woody Jordan Hall would have been an oasis in Boston's horrible weather, Moravec's commemoration of the 1888 Schoolhouse Blizzard was terrible--in the exactest sense--in its evocation of the wind and cold and terror and death that swept over the Great Plains and killed more than two hundred people."

Roger Sutton
ArtsNash
June 6, 2014

Alias followed with a performance of Bouldin’s “Agora,” set to Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy. I can see why this won the Pulitzer. The music is straightforward, neo-romantic, with some ingenious pairings of sub-tone clarinet with strings.

Musical America Worldwide
May 16, 2016

“This operatic treatment of Stephen King’s breakthrough horror-thriller (1977) manages not only to distill the narrative intensity of the original but—its most significant achievement—transforms The Shining into valid operatic terms that transcend the thriller trappings.”

Thomas May
The New York Times
September 9, 2012

"This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own."

James Oestreich
NPR
December 21, 2020

"The year opened with Sanctuary Road, a lyrical and historically vibrant oratorio by Paul Moravec, reintroducing William Still, an American hero who ushered hundreds of enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad and then documented it all."

Tom Huizienga
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012

It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."

Frank J. Oteri
Classical Voice North America
October 18, 2013

"American composer Paul Moravec, asked to write a short work for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s 20th anniversary, responded with a sort of Dagwood canapé, a mere four minutes in duration but stacked sky-high with a fridgeful of ideas."

Mike Greenberg
Fanfare
May 14, 2013

“The effect of this music is that rare thing in this day: music that is deeply engaged with the tradition, mining familiar forms and gestures, and yet somehow giving them integrity, authenticity, and personality. I never feel this is a rehash. Moravec strikes me as one who has found a way to look into the resources of the past without becoming reactionary. I continue to eagerly anticipate his future discoveries.”

The New York Times
September 9, 2012

“This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own. Geoffrey Burleson thrived on a piano part that becomes at times almost concertolike.”

James Oestrich
The Washington Post
March 11, 2013

"Two more-commonly heard quartets, by Leos Janacek and Antonin Dvorak, received professional but unremarkable renditions, while a relatively new work by American composer Paul Moravec stood out."

Charles Downey
Wall Street Journal
February 18, 2015

“Mr. Moravec’s program (Feb. 10) demonstrated his operatic bona fides in effective character pieces from his two completed operas, “The King’s Man,” about Benjamin Franklin, and “The Letter,” after W. Somerset Maugham, before unveiling a bit of his current project, “The Shining” — yes, an operatic setting of the Stephen King novel — which will have its premiere at the Minnesota Opera in 2016.”

Allan Kozinn
Sharps & Flatirons
May 9, 2016

“Moravec has set this tale with accessible, expressive music. The text can be clearly understood, thanks to both composer and cast, and supertitles are often not needed. There are moments of affecting lyrical beauty, particularly the moving (if predictable) final aria by Halloran, the resort’s cook and the story’s rescuer, who reassures Danny that “You’re doing fine by yourself . . . Just fine.” Other major characters — Jack, Wendy, and the spectral figure of Jack’s brutal father — all have expressive music.”

Peter Alexander
Twin Cities
May 8, 2016

“What it lacks in showstopping solos, Moravec’s music makes up for in its ability to create tension and drive the conflict. It’s a demanding score, but conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra shape it with a deft blend of strength and subtlety.”

Rob Hubbard
BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2016

"From Paul Moravec’s score full of discomfiting themes that clash and collide to strongly sung and disarmingly believable portrayals of characters alive and otherwise, “The Shining” is an unqualified success…"

WQXR
January 8, 2013

“Northern Lights Electric, the title track on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 24th(!) self-released recording in five years, demonstrates just how finely matched the Project is to the album’s star composer, Paul Moravec. The polished sort of pleaser that could effortlessly raise the curtain on a subscription concert, this is a symphonic poem for people who love symphonic poems."

MinnPost
May 10, 2016

"Superbly conducted by Michael Christie, Moravec’s music rises, falls, teases, terrifies and whirls like a torrent around the room. At times, the sound of the strings hangs in the air like a darkening cloud. There are bright, exultant moments, such as the opening scene when the Torrances catch their first hopeful glimpse of the magnificent Overlook."

Pamela Espeland
WQXR
March 7, 2016

"Bachmann plays with a high gloss that makes obvious Moravec’s gifts for lyrical writing, both in the concerto itself and in a pair of works for violin and piano: the pensive Equilibrium, composed for the present album; and the effusive, old-fashioned album leaf Evermore (2004)."

BroadwayWorld
February 10, 2020

“The compelling score by Moravec remains as melodic as it is thrilling. It not only creates a wall of pulsating sound for the chorus but also conceives a set of arias for the soloists that brings individual stories unmistakably to life–thanks to a libretto by Campbell that gathers vivid and heart-rending details from Still’s journals and turns them into real people.”

Richard Sasanow

Press Quotes

Audiophile Audition
April 7, 2014
"This is a disc that reflects the wide range of American music in the 20th and 21st century."
John Sunier
Dallas Morning News
February 17, 2016
"From American composer Paul Moravec, born in 1957, came the 2003 Chamber Symphony, scored for flute, oboe, horn, violin, cello, piano and percussion. Here, too, is much sheer energy, the busy textures replete with shifting meters and dancing syncopations. The slow movement, marked “Slow, Singing, Rubato,” is icily atmospheric. Although the music doesn’t sound like Hindemith, it has a bit of the German composer’s DNA."
Scott Cantrell
OperaWire
May 9, 2018
"An episodic journey through history"
Logan Martell
MinnPost
May 10, 2016
"Superbly conducted by Michael Christie, Moravec’s music rises, falls, teases, terrifies and whirls like a torrent around the room. At times, the sound of the strings hangs in the air like a darkening cloud. There are bright, exultant moments, such as the opening scene when the Torrances catch their first hopeful glimpse of the magnificent Overlook."
Pamela Espeland
NPR
January 22, 2013
“Northern Lights Electric is another terrific album from BMOP Sound, the five-year-old indie record label of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and its conductor Gil Rose. Together they make a strong case for Moravec’s ability to represent a broad range of musical real estate.”
Tom Huizenga
Orlando Sentinel
October 24, 2016
"Called 'Light Shall Lift Us (for Orlando),' the 6-minute piece features lyrics by Mark Campbell. Both in music and words, the work is stirring in its simplicity, full of clear imagery and comforting symbolism."
Matthew Palm
Textura
February 10, 2020
“…the piece, especially when its richly melodic and emotionally expressive score is so accessible, is in its entirety a triumph.”
NPR
December 21, 2020
"The year opened with Sanctuary Road, a lyrical and historically vibrant oratorio by Paul Moravec, reintroducing William Still, an American hero who ushered hundreds of enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad and then documented it all."
Tom Huizienga
Fanfare
May 14, 2013
“The effect of this music is that rare thing in this day: music that is deeply engaged with the tradition, mining familiar forms and gestures, and yet somehow giving them integrity, authenticity, and personality. I never feel this is a rehash. Moravec strikes me as one who has found a way to look into the resources of the past without becoming reactionary. I continue to eagerly anticipate his future discoveries.”
BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2016
"From Paul Moravec’s score full of discomfiting themes that clash and collide to strongly sung and disarmingly believable portrayals of characters alive and otherwise, “The Shining” is an unqualified success…"
Boston Globe
January 25, 2016
“Paul Moravec’s “Brandenburg Gate” (No. 2) suggests not only the title arch but the fall of the Berlin Wall, with a musical motif based on the letters of Bach’s name.”
Jeffrey Gantz
Orlando Sentinel
April 18, 2016
"The star attraction, however, was “Music, Awake!,” making its world premiere. Composed by Paul Moravec with words by Terry Teachout, the piece was commissioned by the society to honor John Sinclair for his 25 years as music director. … Moravec has nicely woven a more contemplative section about the power of music in dark times into the jubilance of the work."
Matthew Palm
Examiner
May 10, 2016
“Moravec and Campbell create a score that embellishes all the dread and mayhem that appear on stage.”
ArtsNash
June 6, 2014
Alias followed with a performance of Bouldin’s “Agora,” set to Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy. I can see why this won the Pulitzer. The music is straightforward, neo-romantic, with some ingenious pairings of sub-tone clarinet with strings.
Inquisitr
May 10, 2016
"Paul Moravec composed the music for The Shining, and reviews agree he did an excellent job instilling the Overlook with the blood-curdlingly creepy vibes Stephen King’s The Shining was meant to have. Moravec says The Shining was perfect for converting into a musical, because a large portion of the story centers around the internal struggles and inner monologues of the individual characters."
Wall Street Journal
February 18, 2015
“Mr. Moravec’s program (Feb. 10) demonstrated his operatic bona fides in effective character pieces from his two completed operas, “The King’s Man,” about Benjamin Franklin, and “The Letter,” after W. Somerset Maugham, before unveiling a bit of his current project, “The Shining” — yes, an operatic setting of the Stephen King novel — which will have its premiere at the Minnesota Opera in 2016.”
Allan Kozinn
ArtsNash
May 10, 2014
“…Paul Moravec’s Amorisms and Sacred Love Songs (both performed with the splendid vocalists of Portara Ensemble) – explored various aspects of love. Alias also premiered composer (and Alias cellist) Matt Walker’s Grooves for string quartet. All three of these works received memorable premieres.”
Audio Video Club of Atlanta
April 21, 2014
…the Piano Quintet by Paul Moravec allows the [Lark Quartet] to respond to their stiffest challenge of all as they interact with pianist Jeremy Denk in a work that keeps all our artists constantly alert for the diverse ways its shape is constantly changing through morphing blue notes, stacked fifths in the piano, and textures that are variously terse and spiky, broadly stated, and luminous. This work will reveal more of its beauties to the listener upon repeated audition, something for which the artists share credit with the composer.
International Record Review
April 2, 2014
While Moravec is a broadly tonal composer, the opening reveals music that is spare, delicate and mysterious. The organization of the ideas is not only skilled and restrained but also has a circular quality – motifs and gestures heard in the first movement recur later on. As Andrew Waggoner puts it in his booklet note: ‘Everything comes around in this work, around and together and apart again.’ It is a very well-written piece and one that draws on some extremely refined sonorities from the ensemble. It’s hard to imagine a more committed and carefully prepared performance – Denk and the Lark Quartet make a compelling case for it.”
Nigel Simeone
Philadelphia Inqurier
March 8, 2013
"The Moravec concerto dates from 2010 but arrived at Symphony in C on Friday in revised form, with authoritative soloist Maria Bachmann and a much clearer train of thought as it walks a delicate line between melodiousness and a subterranean thread that gives it long-term continuity. Imagine Delius minus the attention deficit disorder."
David Patrick Stearns
Classical Voice North America
October 18, 2013
"American composer Paul Moravec, asked to write a short work for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s 20th anniversary, responded with a sort of Dagwood canapé, a mere four minutes in duration but stacked sky-high with a fridgeful of ideas."
Mike Greenberg
The New York Times
September 9, 2012
"This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own."
James Oestreich
Boston Classical Review
March 6, 2015
"Moravec’s darkly tonal music captured these stories in powerful dramatic detail in this expansive, 70-minute work."
Aaron Keebaugh
Classical CD Review
October 20, 2017
Lasting more than an hour, it is a major, unusual addition to the choral repertory.
WQXR
January 8, 2013
“Northern Lights Electric, the title track on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 24th(!) self-released recording in five years, demonstrates just how finely matched the Project is to the album’s star composer, Paul Moravec. The polished sort of pleaser that could effortlessly raise the curtain on a subscription concert, this is a symphonic poem for people who love symphonic poems."
South Florida Classical Review
November 21, 2016
"Moravec’s score has been widely performed and for good reason. Both musically complex and enticing to the ear, the Tempest Fantasy is an outstanding 21st-century addition to the chamber music literature."
Lawrence Budmen
Quartz
May 10, 2016
"The music conveys the tension building in the characters’ internal worlds as Jack’s sanity unravels…"
Gwynn Guilford
Gramophone
March 30, 2018
"The composer says in his booklet notes that ‘a well-balanced mixed chorus singing perfectly in tune strikes me as the most beautiful and resonant of sonorities’. The New England Conservatory Concert Choir and Chamber Singers give him all that and, with expert work from the orchestra and earnest, generally splendid work from the soloists, give a passionate and committed performance."
Laurence Vittes
BroadwayWorld
May 10, 2018
"Moravec's powerful gift for melody and a thrusting line gave each of the soloists an opportunity to shine in rendering a variety of characters."
Richard Sasanow
Musical America Worldwide
May 16, 2016
“This operatic treatment of Stephen King’s breakthrough horror-thriller (1977) manages not only to distill the narrative intensity of the original but—its most significant achievement—transforms The Shining into valid operatic terms that transcend the thriller trappings.”
Thomas May
Sharps & Flatirons
May 9, 2016
“Moravec has set this tale with accessible, expressive music. The text can be clearly understood, thanks to both composer and cast, and supertitles are often not needed. There are moments of affecting lyrical beauty, particularly the moving (if predictable) final aria by Halloran, the resort’s cook and the story’s rescuer, who reassures Danny that “You’re doing fine by yourself . . . Just fine.” Other major characters — Jack, Wendy, and the spectral figure of Jack’s brutal father — all have expressive music.”
Peter Alexander
MPR News
May 9, 2016
“Paul Moravec’s music sets the tone from the first moments. It’s a rich, multi-layered soundscape that breathes life into the Overlook Hotel, which is both the setting and the villain of the piece.”
Eric Ringham
The Arts Fuse
January 24, 2013
"On Northern Lights Electric, Mr. Moravec gets a strong showing with two major pieces for orchestra (the eponymous work and “Sempre diritto!“) and two concerti, one for clarinet (masterfully performed by David Krakauer) and the other for cello (sensitively realized by Matt Haimovitz)."
Jonathan Blumhofer
Black Grooves
February 3, 2020
“Sanctuary Road is a modern choral masterpiece, representing struggle and hope in the best of the oratorio tradition.”
WQXR
March 7, 2016
"Bachmann plays with a high gloss that makes obvious Moravec’s gifts for lyrical writing, both in the concerto itself and in a pair of works for violin and piano: the pensive Equilibrium, composed for the present album; and the effusive, old-fashioned album leaf Evermore (2004)."
The New York Times
March 8, 2013
"Mr. Moravec’s response is that of a painter. Scored for six soloists and a large chorus and orchestra, the oratorio becomes a vast canvas filled with vivid depictions of nature; chiaroscuro changes in lighting; and individual characters fixed with quick, confident brush strokes… For the most part the music is tonal, and Mr. Moravec’s writing for the solo singers aims for an unaffected simplicity…The musical depiction of the outbreak of the storm was nothing short of terrifying."
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
BroadwayWorld
February 10, 2020
“The compelling score by Moravec remains as melodic as it is thrilling. It not only creates a wall of pulsating sound for the chorus but also conceives a set of arias for the soloists that brings individual stories unmistakably to life–thanks to a libretto by Campbell that gathers vivid and heart-rending details from Still’s journals and turns them into real people.”
Richard Sasanow
The New York Times
September 9, 2012
“This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own. Geoffrey Burleson thrived on a piano part that becomes at times almost concertolike.”
James Oestrich
The Classical Review
January 8, 2020
“Largely tonal, intensely dramatic"
David McConnell
The Washington Post
March 11, 2013
"Two more-commonly heard quartets, by Leos Janacek and Antonin Dvorak, received professional but unremarkable renditions, while a relatively new work by American composer Paul Moravec stood out."
Charles Downey
WRTI
February 24, 2020
"As WRTI continues to mark Black History Month, we feature an album that celebrates, through contemporary music, the writings of the 19th-century Philadelphia abolitionist William Still. Still wrote a book titled The Underground Railroad in 1872, which detailed his efforts aiding runaway slaves. Three years ago, that book inspired the Pulitzer-winning contemporary American composer Paul Moravec to write Sanctuary Road, a work he calls an 'American historical oratorio.'"
Kevin Gordon
Star Tribune
May 10, 2016
“…Moravec’s score for the opera incorporates propulsive, percussion-driven sounds for what could be called the “mad scenes” of Act Two, along with appropriately eerie moments as tension-builders, but most of the music is tonal and Romantic and yet doesn’t sound old-fashioned — the soaring, exultant lyricism, for instance, in the opening scene as Jack and the family anticipate — almost too eagerly — their “new life,” or at the very end, the beautifully written coda scene, where Dick Hallorann, the cook, consoles Danny and Wendy as the strings play delicate chamber music.”
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012
"Although Moravec originally composed the song cycle Vita Brevis for tenor and piano in 2001, he re-arranged it for voice and piano trio in 2009 and that is how it was presented on Saturday night by Farley with Moravec behind the piano, joined by NYCMF’s President and CEO Elmira Darvarova on violin and Samuel Magill on cello. It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."
Frank J. Oteri
The Horn Book
March 6, 2015
"Seasonally enough, last night I attended Blizzard of Voices, an oratorio by Paul Moravec (husband to your friend and mine Wendy Lamb). While you might have thought the warm and woody Jordan Hall would have been an oasis in Boston's horrible weather, Moravec's commemoration of the 1888 Schoolhouse Blizzard was terrible--in the exactest sense--in its evocation of the wind and cold and terror and death that swept over the Great Plains and killed more than two hundred people."
Roger Sutton
Twin Cities
May 8, 2016
“What it lacks in showstopping solos, Moravec’s music makes up for in its ability to create tension and drive the conflict. It’s a demanding score, but conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra shape it with a deft blend of strength and subtlety.”
Rob Hubbard
NewMusicBox
September 17, 2012
It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."
Frank J. Oteri
Classical MPR
May 8, 2016
“The new opera surges forward on the strength of electrifying music by Paul Moravec. The singers, performing a libretto by Mark Campbell, float atop the orchestral score like uncertain vessels on a roiling sea as their stay as demons awake to torture them. It’s a hell of a ride.”
Jay Gabler
Gramophone
April 19, 2014
Most impressive [on this disc] is Paul Moravec’s 23-minute, profoundly conservative, deeply absorbing Piano Quintet, commissioned in 2006 to honor the philanthropist Adam Aronson. Amid the rigorous charting of its blueprinted lines, textures and occasional harmonic ecstasies, there are astonishing moments of physical beauty, such as [the piano’s] sumptuous solo opening the second movement.
Laurence Vittes
September 9, 2012
Critical Acclaim

The New York Times

“This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own. Geoffrey Burleson thrived on a piano part that becomes at times almost concertolike.”

James Oestrich
September 17, 2012
Critical Acclaim

NewMusicBox

It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."

Frank J. Oteri
January 8, 2013
Critical Acclaim

WQXR

“Northern Lights Electric, the title track on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 24th(!) self-released recording in five years, demonstrates just how finely matched the Project is to the album’s star composer, Paul Moravec. The polished sort of pleaser that could effortlessly raise the curtain on a subscription concert, this is a symphonic poem for people who love symphonic poems."

March 8, 2013
Critical Acclaim

Philadelphia Inqurier

"The Moravec concerto dates from 2010 but arrived at Symphony in C on Friday in revised form, with authoritative soloist Maria Bachmann and a much clearer train of thought as it walks a delicate line between melodiousness and a subterranean thread that gives it long-term continuity. Imagine Delius minus the attention deficit disorder."

David Patrick Stearns
March 8, 2013
Critical Acclaim

The New York Times

"Mr. Moravec’s response is that of a painter. Scored for six soloists and a large chorus and orchestra, the oratorio becomes a vast canvas filled with vivid depictions of nature; chiaroscuro changes in lighting; and individual characters fixed with quick, confident brush strokes… For the most part the music is tonal, and Mr. Moravec’s writing for the solo singers aims for an unaffected simplicity…The musical depiction of the outbreak of the storm was nothing short of terrifying."

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
March 11, 2013
Critical Acclaim

The Washington Post

"Two more-commonly heard quartets, by Leos Janacek and Antonin Dvorak, received professional but unremarkable renditions, while a relatively new work by American composer Paul Moravec stood out."

Charles Downey
May 14, 2013
Critical Acclaim

Fanfare

“The effect of this music is that rare thing in this day: music that is deeply engaged with the tradition, mining familiar forms and gestures, and yet somehow giving them integrity, authenticity, and personality. I never feel this is a rehash. Moravec strikes me as one who has found a way to look into the resources of the past without becoming reactionary. I continue to eagerly anticipate his future discoveries.”

October 18, 2013
Critical Acclaim

Classical Voice North America

"American composer Paul Moravec, asked to write a short work for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s 20th anniversary, responded with a sort of Dagwood canapé, a mere four minutes in duration but stacked sky-high with a fridgeful of ideas."

Mike Greenberg
April 2, 2014
Critical Acclaim

International Record Review

While Moravec is a broadly tonal composer, the opening reveals music that is spare, delicate and mysterious. The organization of the ideas is not only skilled and restrained but also has a circular quality – motifs and gestures heard in the first movement recur later on. As Andrew Waggoner puts it in his booklet note: ‘Everything comes around in this work, around and together and apart again.’ It is a very well-written piece and one that draws on some extremely refined sonorities from the ensemble. It’s hard to imagine a more committed and carefully prepared performance – Denk and the Lark Quartet make a compelling case for it.”

Nigel Simeone
April 7, 2014
Critical Acclaim

Audiophile Audition

"This is a disc that reflects the wide range of American music in the 20th and 21st century."

John Sunier
April 19, 2014
Critical Acclaim

Gramophone

Most impressive [on this disc] is Paul Moravec’s 23-minute, profoundly conservative, deeply absorbing Piano Quintet, commissioned in 2006 to honor the philanthropist Adam Aronson. Amid the rigorous charting of its blueprinted lines, textures and occasional harmonic ecstasies, there are astonishing moments of physical beauty, such as [the piano’s] sumptuous solo opening the second movement.

Laurence Vittes
April 21, 2014
Critical Acclaim

Audio Video Club of Atlanta

…the Piano Quintet by Paul Moravec allows the [Lark Quartet] to respond to their stiffest challenge of all as they interact with pianist Jeremy Denk in a work that keeps all our artists constantly alert for the diverse ways its shape is constantly changing through morphing blue notes, stacked fifths in the piano, and textures that are variously terse and spiky, broadly stated, and luminous. This work will reveal more of its beauties to the listener upon repeated audition, something for which the artists share credit with the composer.

May 10, 2014
Critical Acclaim

ArtsNash

“…Paul Moravec’s Amorisms and Sacred Love Songs (both performed with the splendid vocalists of Portara Ensemble) – explored various aspects of love. Alias also premiered composer (and Alias cellist) Matt Walker’s Grooves for string quartet. All three of these works received memorable premieres.”

June 6, 2014
Critical Acclaim

ArtsNash

Alias followed with a performance of Bouldin’s “Agora,” set to Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy. I can see why this won the Pulitzer. The music is straightforward, neo-romantic, with some ingenious pairings of sub-tone clarinet with strings.

February 18, 2015
Critical Acclaim

Wall Street Journal

“Mr. Moravec’s program (Feb. 10) demonstrated his operatic bona fides in effective character pieces from his two completed operas, “The King’s Man,” about Benjamin Franklin, and “The Letter,” after W. Somerset Maugham, before unveiling a bit of his current project, “The Shining” — yes, an operatic setting of the Stephen King novel — which will have its premiere at the Minnesota Opera in 2016.”

Allan Kozinn
March 6, 2015
Critical Acclaim

Boston Classical Review

"Moravec’s darkly tonal music captured these stories in powerful dramatic detail in this expansive, 70-minute work."

Aaron Keebaugh
March 6, 2015
Critical Acclaim

The Horn Book

"Seasonally enough, last night I attended Blizzard of Voices, an oratorio by Paul Moravec (husband to your friend and mine Wendy Lamb). While you might have thought the warm and woody Jordan Hall would have been an oasis in Boston's horrible weather, Moravec's commemoration of the 1888 Schoolhouse Blizzard was terrible--in the exactest sense--in its evocation of the wind and cold and terror and death that swept over the Great Plains and killed more than two hundred people."

Roger Sutton
January 25, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Boston Globe

“Paul Moravec’s “Brandenburg Gate” (No. 2) suggests not only the title arch but the fall of the Berlin Wall, with a musical motif based on the letters of Bach’s name.”

Jeffrey Gantz
February 17, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Dallas Morning News

"From American composer Paul Moravec, born in 1957, came the 2003 Chamber Symphony, scored for flute, oboe, horn, violin, cello, piano and percussion. Here, too, is much sheer energy, the busy textures replete with shifting meters and dancing syncopations. The slow movement, marked “Slow, Singing, Rubato,” is icily atmospheric. Although the music doesn’t sound like Hindemith, it has a bit of the German composer’s DNA."

Scott Cantrell
March 7, 2016
Critical Acclaim

WQXR

"Bachmann plays with a high gloss that makes obvious Moravec’s gifts for lyrical writing, both in the concerto itself and in a pair of works for violin and piano: the pensive Equilibrium, composed for the present album; and the effusive, old-fashioned album leaf Evermore (2004)."

April 18, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Orlando Sentinel

"The star attraction, however, was “Music, Awake!,” making its world premiere. Composed by Paul Moravec with words by Terry Teachout, the piece was commissioned by the society to honor John Sinclair for his 25 years as music director. … Moravec has nicely woven a more contemplative section about the power of music in dark times into the jubilance of the work."

Matthew Palm
May 10, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Quartz

"The music conveys the tension building in the characters’ internal worlds as Jack’s sanity unravels…"

Gwynn Guilford
May 10, 2016
Critical Acclaim

BroadwayWorld

"From Paul Moravec’s score full of discomfiting themes that clash and collide to strongly sung and disarmingly believable portrayals of characters alive and otherwise, “The Shining” is an unqualified success…"

May 10, 2016
Critical Acclaim

MinnPost

"Superbly conducted by Michael Christie, Moravec’s music rises, falls, teases, terrifies and whirls like a torrent around the room. At times, the sound of the strings hangs in the air like a darkening cloud. There are bright, exultant moments, such as the opening scene when the Torrances catch their first hopeful glimpse of the magnificent Overlook."

Pamela Espeland
May 10, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Inquisitr

"Paul Moravec composed the music for The Shining, and reviews agree he did an excellent job instilling the Overlook with the blood-curdlingly creepy vibes Stephen King’s The Shining was meant to have. Moravec says The Shining was perfect for converting into a musical, because a large portion of the story centers around the internal struggles and inner monologues of the individual characters."

May 9, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Sharps & Flatirons

“Moravec has set this tale with accessible, expressive music. The text can be clearly understood, thanks to both composer and cast, and supertitles are often not needed. There are moments of affecting lyrical beauty, particularly the moving (if predictable) final aria by Halloran, the resort’s cook and the story’s rescuer, who reassures Danny that “You’re doing fine by yourself . . . Just fine.” Other major characters — Jack, Wendy, and the spectral figure of Jack’s brutal father — all have expressive music.”

Peter Alexander
May 8, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Twin Cities

“What it lacks in showstopping solos, Moravec’s music makes up for in its ability to create tension and drive the conflict. It’s a demanding score, but conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra shape it with a deft blend of strength and subtlety.”

Rob Hubbard
May 10, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Examiner

“Moravec and Campbell create a score that embellishes all the dread and mayhem that appear on stage.”

May 8, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Classical MPR

“The new opera surges forward on the strength of electrifying music by Paul Moravec. The singers, performing a libretto by Mark Campbell, float atop the orchestral score like uncertain vessels on a roiling sea as their stay as demons awake to torture them. It’s a hell of a ride.”

Jay Gabler
May 10, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Star Tribune

“…Moravec’s score for the opera incorporates propulsive, percussion-driven sounds for what could be called the “mad scenes” of Act Two, along with appropriately eerie moments as tension-builders, but most of the music is tonal and Romantic and yet doesn’t sound old-fashioned — the soaring, exultant lyricism, for instance, in the opening scene as Jack and the family anticipate — almost too eagerly — their “new life,” or at the very end, the beautifully written coda scene, where Dick Hallorann, the cook, consoles Danny and Wendy as the strings play delicate chamber music.”

May 9, 2016
Critical Acclaim

MPR News

“Paul Moravec’s music sets the tone from the first moments. It’s a rich, multi-layered soundscape that breathes life into the Overlook Hotel, which is both the setting and the villain of the piece.”

Eric Ringham
May 16, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Musical America Worldwide

“This operatic treatment of Stephen King’s breakthrough horror-thriller (1977) manages not only to distill the narrative intensity of the original but—its most significant achievement—transforms The Shining into valid operatic terms that transcend the thriller trappings.”

Thomas May
October 24, 2016
Critical Acclaim

Orlando Sentinel

"Called 'Light Shall Lift Us (for Orlando),' the 6-minute piece features lyrics by Mark Campbell. Both in music and words, the work is stirring in its simplicity, full of clear imagery and comforting symbolism."

Matthew Palm
November 21, 2016
Critical Acclaim

South Florida Classical Review

"Moravec’s score has been widely performed and for good reason. Both musically complex and enticing to the ear, the Tempest Fantasy is an outstanding 21st-century addition to the chamber music literature."

Lawrence Budmen
March 30, 2018
Critical Acclaim

Gramophone

"The composer says in his booklet notes that ‘a well-balanced mixed chorus singing perfectly in tune strikes me as the most beautiful and resonant of sonorities’. The New England Conservatory Concert Choir and Chamber Singers give him all that and, with expert work from the orchestra and earnest, generally splendid work from the soloists, give a passionate and committed performance."

Laurence Vittes
October 20, 2017
Critical Acclaim

Classical CD Review

Lasting more than an hour, it is a major, unusual addition to the choral repertory.

May 10, 2018
Critical Acclaim

BroadwayWorld

"Moravec's powerful gift for melody and a thrusting line gave each of the soloists an opportunity to shine in rendering a variety of characters."

Richard Sasanow
May 9, 2018
Critical Acclaim

OperaWire

"An episodic journey through history"

Logan Martell
January 8, 2020
Critical Acclaim

The Classical Review

“Largely tonal, intensely dramatic"

David McConnell
February 3, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Black Grooves

“Sanctuary Road is a modern choral masterpiece, representing struggle and hope in the best of the oratorio tradition.”

February 10, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Textura

“…the piece, especially when its richly melodic and emotionally expressive score is so accessible, is in its entirety a triumph.”

February 10, 2020
Critical Acclaim

BroadwayWorld

“The compelling score by Moravec remains as melodic as it is thrilling. It not only creates a wall of pulsating sound for the chorus but also conceives a set of arias for the soloists that brings individual stories unmistakably to life–thanks to a libretto by Campbell that gathers vivid and heart-rending details from Still’s journals and turns them into real people.”

Richard Sasanow
February 24, 2020
Critical Acclaim

WRTI

"As WRTI continues to mark Black History Month, we feature an album that celebrates, through contemporary music, the writings of the 19th-century Philadelphia abolitionist William Still. Still wrote a book titled The Underground Railroad in 1872, which detailed his efforts aiding runaway slaves. Three years ago, that book inspired the Pulitzer-winning contemporary American composer Paul Moravec to write Sanctuary Road, a work he calls an 'American historical oratorio.'"

Kevin Gordon
December 21, 2020
Critical Acclaim

NPR

"The year opened with Sanctuary Road, a lyrical and historically vibrant oratorio by Paul Moravec, reintroducing William Still, an American hero who ushered hundreds of enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad and then documented it all."

Tom Huizienga
September 9, 2012
Critical Acclaim

The New York Times

"This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own."

James Oestreich
September 17, 2012
Critical Acclaim

NewMusicBox

"Although Moravec originally composed the song cycle Vita Brevis for tenor and piano in 2001, he re-arranged it for voice and piano trio in 2009 and that is how it was presented on Saturday night by Farley with Moravec behind the piano, joined by NYCMF’s President and CEO Elmira Darvarova on violin and Samuel Magill on cello. It’s a surprisingly uncommon combination—the only other work so scored that’s immediately coming to my mind is Rorem’s Auden Songs from 1989—but as Moravec pointed out in his comments to the audience it’s nice to be able to match long vocal notes with instruments that can sustain."

Frank J. Oteri
January 24, 2013
Critical Acclaim

The Arts Fuse

"On Northern Lights Electric, Mr. Moravec gets a strong showing with two major pieces for orchestra (the eponymous work and “Sempre diritto!“) and two concerti, one for clarinet (masterfully performed by David Krakauer) and the other for cello (sensitively realized by Matt Haimovitz)."

Jonathan Blumhofer
January 22, 2013
Critical Acclaim

NPR

“Northern Lights Electric is another terrific album from BMOP Sound, the five-year-old indie record label of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and its conductor Gil Rose. Together they make a strong case for Moravec’s ability to represent a broad range of musical real estate.”

Tom Huizenga