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Since Aria 3, last of that operatically-inspired series, State of Grace has reached its third manifestation -- let's hope (like film directors Robert Zemeckis with Back to the Future III, 1990, and his mate Steven Spielberg with Indiana Jones -- the Last Crusade, 1989) that Schwartz has the good sense to leave it at three.

No 1 [2000] began with Veni Redemptor Gentium; by some error of judgement included Amazing Grace, took in William Blake's Augeries of Innocence' (1803) on two tracks, proceeded with soloist Lisbeth Scott in Be Still my Soul (Sibelius' Finlandia) and wound up with the series' title track, State Of Grace.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

-- William Blake, Augeries of Innocence (1803)

State of Grace No 2 (2003), subtitled 'Turning to Peace', is based on the Magnificat and Stabat Mater and now State of Grace No 3 (2004) kicks off with Christe Redemptor and finishes with Soledad for violin and piano.

Lisbeth Scott's voice featured on the soundtracks of The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia and she is the widely praised mainstay vocalist throughout all three State of Grace programmes.

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Copyright © 7 January 2007 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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