The Ceiling of Heaven

The “Prelude: Distant Fanfares” title did not prepare me for the strong yet muted tones of the opening movement of Donald Crockett’s piano quartet The Ceiling of Heaven. To my ear, this choice translates the distance as not one of miles, but more of internal repression. The pose of emotional restraint and blunt declaration is not held onto for long, however, before Crockett opens up the musical line, inspired by the natural world and a Kenneth Rexroth poem which includes the image: “the hawks scream,/Playing together on the ceiling/Of heaven.”



The disc is intended as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of The Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, where Crockett was in residence in 1999 and since 2002 has been the Conference’s senior composer-in-residence. The Ceiling of Heaven was commissioned by the Conference.


—MS