Paradise (2013)

“Paradise opus 95 is for soprano, piano and cello, for which Schultz again wrote the words “in which a physician observer wrestles with the small-scale detail and large-scale effect of an horrific and violent event.” Written in 2013, the piece was a finalist in the 2016 Art Music Awards and was Highly Commended in the Paul Lowin Song Prize that year. The songs, bound by ideas of shapes, glass, identity perspective, release and space, contradict its title. The first aria Suspended earth is a lyrical, freely wandering interplay between voice, piano and cello, stretching the voice to its highest reaches; however, the syncopations and jagged rhythms of Safety glass create an unease; Child who are you? Is a quizzical multi-lingual questioning of identity. Jigsaw and Almost flight complete the collection.” [Shamistha de Soysa, SoundsLikeSydney, 13 October 2018.]

“In the remarkable Paradise (2013), Schultz sets his own texts, considering the effects of unidentified horrific and violent events. He states he is “looking for a personal, specific and clear expression of ideas, that requires a high level of unity and artistic means”. Certainly, these texts conjure thoughts of terrorism and other ghastly disasters, and are deeply affecting, even when simply read. Written for soprano, cello and piano, the bookend movements feature superb solos from Geoffrey Gartner, in the first, rhapsodic, and in the last, a poignant lament. There is a false sense of security created in the minimalistic second song, prior to our security being fractured as the text develops. The middle movement is utterly desperate, a simple lullaby ultimately revealing the final breath of a young girl, the next song then erupting into jagged instrumental motifs.Throughout, Morgan creates and maintains atmosphere, respecting the superb texts and their impacts. This is an extraordinarily dramatic and powerful work, and the most satisfying cycle of the disc for me.” [ Jane Edwards, “This moment must be sung. Chamber songs of Andrew Schultz,” LoudMouth, 2 September 2018.]