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Aaron Jay Kernis

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Musica Celestis (1990)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Sub Category
String Orchestra
Year Composed
11 Minutes
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Programme Note
Aaron Jay Kernis Musica Celestis (1990)

  • Conductor
    Hugh Wolff
    Phoenix USA:
  • Ensemble
    Seattle Symphony
    Gerard Schwarz
    Hear Music:
  • Ensemble
    City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    Hugh Wolff
  • Ensemble
    Minnesota Orchestra
    Eiji Oue
    Virgin Classics:
  • G. Schirmer / AMP:
  • Ensemble
    Minnesota Orchestra
    Truls Otterbech Mørk, cello
    Eiji Oue
    Virgin Classics:
  • Ensemble
    New York Chamber Symphony
    Gerard Schwarz
    Phoenix USA:
  • 14 MAY 2016
    Tulsa, OK
    Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
    Daniel Hege, conductor
  • 08 APR 2016
    Boston, MA
    Symphony Nova
  • 17 MAR 2016
    Wilmington, NC
    North Carolina Symphony
  • 11 MAR 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Northwest Sinfonietta

    Other Dates:
    12,13 March - Seattle, WA
  • 04 FEB 2016
    Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Paavali Jumppanen; Eugene Tzigane, conductor
  • 20 JAN 2016
    Berlin, Germany
    Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    Kristjan Järvi, conductor
  • 20 JAN 2016
    Berlin, Germany
    Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    Kristjan Järvi, conductor
  • 12 DEC 2015
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra
  • 26 NOV 2015
    Philharmonic Orchestra de Mina Gervais

    Other Dates:
    27 November - Brazil
  • 12 NOV 2015
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Copenhagen Philharmonic
  • 22 MAY 2015
    San Diego, CA
    San Diego Symphony
    Jahta Ling, conductor

    Other Dates:
    23,24 May - San Diego, CA
  • 09 MAY 2015
    Leipzig, Germany
    MDR Sinfonieorchester
    Kristjan Järvi, conductor
  • 24 APR 2015
    Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London
    Trinity Laban Conservatoire
  • 12 APR 2015
    Cleveland, OH
    The Cleveland Orchestra
    Brett Mitchell, conductor
  • 15 JAN 2015
    Schwerin, Germany
    Ballett des Mecklenburgischen Staatstheaters Schwerin
  • 27 NOV 2014
    Blackheath Hall, London
    Trinity Laban String Ensemble
    Nic Pendleburgh , conductor
  • 03 SEP 2014
    Basilica de Llanes, Asturias.
    Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias
    David Lockington, conductor

    Other Dates:
    4 September - Iglesia Parroquial de Navia, Asturias.
    5 September - Nuevo Teatro de la Felguera, Asturias.
  • 29 JUN 2014
    Schwerin, Germany
    Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin

    Other Dates:
    4 July - Schwerin, Germany
  • 04 APR 2014
    St Mary's Church, Bath
    Bath Philharmonia
    Jason Thornton, conductor
  • 24 JAN 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
    Matthew Halls, conductor

    Other Dates:
    25,26 January - Los Angeles, CA
  • 05 DEC 2013
    Northfield, MN
    St. Olaf College Orchestra
    Steven Amundson, conductor

    Other Dates:
    6-8 December - Northfield, MN
  • 05 OCT 2013
    Davenport, IA
    Quad City Symphony
    Mark Russell Smith, conductor

    Other Dates:
    6 October - Davenport, IA
  • 20 SEP 2013
    Milwaukee, WI
    Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
    Andreas Delfs, conductor

    Other Dates:
    21,22 September - Milwaukee, WI
  • 09 JUN 2013
    Omaha, NE
    Omaha Symphony
    Ernest Richardson, conductor
  • 31 MAY 2013
    Birmingham, AL
    Alabama Symphony
    Daniel Meyer, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1 June - Birmingham, AL
  • 05 MAY 2013
    Piscataway, NJ
    New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra
    Mark Hyczko, conductor
  • 03 MAY 2013
    Ballet Othello
    Mannheim, Germany
    Mannheimer Nationaltheater-Orchester
    Joseph Trafton, conductor

    Other Dates:
    6,29 June - Mannheim, Germany
  • 10 APR 2013
    Bloomington, IN
    Indiana University
    David Hayes, conductor
  • 23 MAR 2013
    Saginaw, MI
    Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra
    Brett Mitchell, conductor
  • 23 MAR 2013
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Victoria Symphony
    Tania Miller, conductor

    Other Dates:
    24,25 March - Victoria, BC, Canada

Even more moving was Aaron Jay Kernis’ “Musica Celestis,” a kind of outer-space exploration of eerie hymnlike harmonies building to first one climax and then another before receding to deep space. Nakahara suggested a parallel with Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Kernis’ music shares a mystical quality with Barber’s together with a superb command of instrumentation. But Kernis’ projects an unmistakable individuality.
Travis Rivers, The Spokesman Review,3/22/2009
The piece is punctuated by soaring melodic strings...and bursts of striking dissonance and palpable tension.
Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star,10/24/2008
An indelible memory was formed by Aaron Jay Kernis’ 1990 Musica Celestis. Like Barber’s ubiquitous Adagio, it began life as the slow movement of a string quartet, and was quickly arranged for full string orchestra. Its evocations of endless hymns of praise to God included whispered strings in exquisite soft harmonies, with a gradual accretion to treacherously high, keening string tessitura. A quick cutoff drops instantly back into slow, lush harmonic thoughts where gentle consecutive falling intervals coalesce to form a hauntingly spiritual and deeply satisfying conclusion.
Herman Trotter , The Buffalo News,3/16/2008
Musica Celestis stands in comparison to Barber's famous Adagio. Like the Barber piece, Kernis's work is a string-orchestra transcription of an adagio movement from a string quartet and is effectively solemn and mournful. Kernis's music is about melody, harmony, technique - and relaxation. This is a superbly engineered CD. A highly recommended CD.
It is a relief after such vehement and splenetic music to encounter Kernis’s most famous piece. This is the middle movement of his First String Quartet transcribed by the composer for full string orchestra...certainly anyone needs to see this out. This writing is gentle, yielding, supplicatory and emphatic yet never hectoring...
Rob Barnett,,1/1/0001
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