Every piece on the album speaks directly and deeply to the heart and soul of humanity, and this is exactly what makes us weep and at the very same time lifts us up. Eternally. – Dyan Garris
I’m not sure I have adequate words to describe this incredible album by consummately brilliant, award-winning musical artist, composer, and pianist, Heidi Breyer. I can only try.
“Amor Aeternus” translates from the Latin to “eternal love.” Heidi’s inspiration for the album essentially sprung from the adverse events of the past few years, and perhaps the past few decades, that have continually stretched the limits of what the collective human spirit has had to endure. And through it all, the changes, challenges, and the necessary reinventions, the indomitable spirit of humanity prevails.
It is for the unsung heroes, the everyday person, that Heidi composed this album. It is not about death. It’s about life. It’s about true repose for the spirit. Every piece on the album speaks directly and deeply to the heart and soul of humanity, and this is exactly what makes us weep and at the very same time lifts us up. Eternally.
“Gorgeous” and “reverent” only scratch the surface of describing these 10 pieces, which were each lovingly composed over a period of years but brought into coalescence remotely then during the pandemic. Along with Heidi, a cast of world-class producers, musicians, and vocalists lent their musical talents to this amazing project. I will include full credits at the end of this review, but here we have piano, strings, orchestra, vocal soloists, and choir.
The eloquent compositions are sung in Latin (and included in the liner notes are the English translations), giving the music a “mass” or “prayer-like” feel, but the utter beauty of them all transcends and cuts across all “religious” boundaries. These are songs for the spirit and for us all at a time when we need them the most. I would say it’s “divine timing,” to be sure. The spiritual upliftment is astonishing.
We can’t address all 10 tracks here, but some highlights for you: The album opens with the graceful, elegant, “Introit” (Entrance). Perfect, to say the least. Strings lead us gently in, and the choir is beyond beautiful and angelic. “. . .Eternal rest, give to them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.” This is about 5-1/2 minutes of pure Heaven on Earth.
Following, is the equally beautiful, “Kyrie Eleison.” Heidi’s piano is so velvety smooth here and the very gentle male choral voice puts us immediately into a completely tranquil place. I just love this and think you will as well. Full choir comes in later, adding to the serenity. “Lord have mercy on us.” Stunningly beautiful in every regard.
One of my favorites, although, it’s virtually impossible to choose one, is “Sanctus,” (Holy). The vocal harmonies are full, lush, and richly luxurious, as they are on the whole album, but if this one doesn’t lift your spirits, I’m not sure what will. “Hosanna in the highest.” Amazing.
“Lacrimosa” (Weeping), is another favorite, for not only its vocal beauty, but the flowing, elegant, graceful, and emotionally evocative piano. Stunning beauty.
“Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: grant them eternal rest.” “Agnus Dei” (Lamb Of God), is so angelic and powerful from the very first notes and throughout. The female soloist has one of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear. Heidi’s piano is as elegant and expressive as ever, with strings and full choir adding even more depth to this truly heavenly tapestry. This is restful in ways you can’t even imagine. It’s a “must have,” as is this entire album.
“Lux Aeterna” (Eternal Light), is mesmerizing and peace-inducing. “Eternal rest, give to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine down upon them.” Here we can almost literally feel that light shining down all around us, filling us with shimmering love. Gorgeous, truly gorgeous.
The album closes out with the joyful and spiritually uplifting, “In Paradisum” (Into Paradise). With the whole resplendent choir sounding very much like angels, we can fully take in the beauty of this album: “. . .may the chorus of angels receive thee and with Lazarus, once a beggar, may thou have eternal rest. Amen.” Speechless. Amen. Indeed.
FYI, the world premiere of “Amor Aeternus” will be in Stern Auditorium/Perleman Stage at Carnegie Hall, NYC, on July 21st, 2022! Tickets are available Now by clicking here. Use these PROMO CODES below when you buy your ticket online:
REQ38166 for Seniors and Students
REQ38167 for Teachers, Medical Professionals, and Veterans
REQ38168 for Musicians
Available as a physical CD or digitally, get the album/listen here: https://www.heidibreyer.com/
Piano: Heidi Breyer
Violin soloist: Charlie Bisharat
Violins: Bengisu Gokce, Echae Kang
Cellos: Eugene Friesen
Violas: David Wallace
Double Bass: Bruno Raberg
Harp: Christa Grix
English horn: Jill Haley
Vocal soloist: Soprano: Elizabeth Rogers (Pie Jesu)
Sopranos: Margot Rood, Barbara Hill
Sarah Labrie, Katherine Beckvold
Altos: Teri Kowiak, Elizabeth Rogers
Tenors: Nate Ramsayer, Daniel Mahoney
Baritones: Nathan Halbur, Scott Koven
Corin Nelsen: Head Producer, engineer, choir manager, editing, mixing, mastering
Heidi Breyer: Composer, Producer, Libretist, choral director
Eugene Friesen: Mentor, Co-producer, strings management
Alexander Volkov: Artistic Director
Michael Buck: Executive Producer