Recording Release Date 
May 2008
SACD Recording 
Recording Length 
Disc 1: 68:01
  • Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Gil Rose, conductor

Lee Hyla's epic Lives of the Saints is a set of psychological character studies filled with fierce musical and spiritual imagination, inspired by a diverse group of 13th- and 14th-century writings by or about saints. The lyrical At Suma Beach (based on a Noh play) provides a satisfying contrast to Lives's turbulence. Both pieces feature the magnificent Mary Nessinger, led by Gil Rose.

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News and Press

[CD Review] Six deserving to be heard in 2009 and beyond

The best-of compilations that mark the end of each year can have the unfortunate side effect of relegating their contents to the past, treating them as relics that go into a shoebox in your closet marked “2008.” But if these are the best of what a year had to offer, they should be coming with us, getting played, heard, and talked about after the calendar flips. So here are some “bests” from the past year to take with you into 2009 and beyond.

Lee Hyla: Lives of the Saints/ At Suma Beach
Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose - BMOP/sound

The Boston Globe Full review
[CD Review] Fanfare reviews Lee Hyla: Lives of the Saints

Lee Hyla (b. 1955) writes a muscular music that is deeply rooted in classical practice, but also owes a lot to more roughhewn influences: to my ear, at least, the strongest is progressive/free jazz. In an interesting way, he’s found a way to do what many composers have attempted but failed at—to produce a genuinely American form of Expressionism, freed from the trappings of fin de siecle Vienna.

Fanfare Full review
[CD Review] American Record Guide reviews Lee Hyla: Lives of the Saints

Two spiritually charged pieces from vastly different worlds by Lee Hyla, who has recently lefts his long-time post at New England Conservatory for an appointment at Northwestern University in Chicago. Both of these pieces were written for Nessinger while Hyla was in residence at NEC. At Suma Beach (2003) is a work in four sections for mezzo, solo clarinet, and chamber ensemble, based on the Noh play Matsukaze.

American Record Guide Full review
[CD Review] New music from Lee Hyla and BMOP

Four out of five stars

This is modern music and sounds it. For the listener it is an undertaking. Containing themes of religion, diverse cultures, historic events, life’s passage and Lee Hyla’s personal understanding and weaving of these themes.

Not like his previous collection of pieces in the Trans CD. This is a little less accessible than Trans going back to a more modern musical vision he had with earlier works.

Amazon Full review
[Press Release] BMOP/sound releases Lee Hyla: Lives of the Saints

BMOP/sound, the nation's foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music recordings, announces the release of its third CD, Lee Hyla: Lives of the Saints. Based on captivating, evocative texts, Lives of the Saints features two religious monodramas—one Catholic, Live of the Saints, and one Buddhist, At Suma Beach. This CD celebrates Lee Hyla's long-standing relationships with both the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger.

Full review
[News Coverage] Boston Modern Orchestra Project launches own label

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), an orchestra devoted exclusively to performing and commissioning new music, has announced it will launch an in-house record label, BMOP Sound, in January.

BMOP Sound will release five world premiere CDs early next year: John Harbison’s Ulysses, Michael Gandolfi’s Y2K Compliant, Gunther Schuller’s Journey Into Jazz (with the composer narrating), Lee Hyla’s Lives of the Saints (with mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger), and Charles Fussell’s Wilde (with baritone Sanford Sylvan).

Playbill Arts Full review
[CD Review] Performance of "Saints" so good it was sinful

The concert began with a composition set At Suma Beach, but a summa of a different kind highlighted this Pitt Music on the Edge event at Bellefield Hall in Oakland.

Guest composer Lee Hyla’s Lives of the Saints, a work for solo voice and chamber ensemble, not only took theology as its subject, but also amounted to a virtual musical treatise.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full review