"There is a great deal of beautiful music here to enjoy and the album is worth seeking out especially for its fine choral works."
"Canadian composer Joanna Estelle’s brief, yet sweet, tonal Faraway Star, is a programmatic piece of star-crossed lovers – female violin, male cello and piano narrator, played with clarity and storytelling precision."
MOTO FINALE brings the beloved chamber music series to a close with a number of works inspired by nature, loss, spiritual connection, and music of the past. The seasoned Trio Casals returns for this seventh and final installment to perform the works of seven composers in a diverse and conclusive capstone of modern composition. The album finishes with Joanna Estelle’s “Bobby’s Song”, which is the best track, and spans a wide array of emotions in its meticulous demeanor.
Joanna Estelle's Ukrainian family background informs I Am My Home, originally a choral piece written on a poem of her immigrant grandfather's, a Ukrainian nationalist who fought the Bolsheviks before fleeing to Canada. Starting with a straightforward announcement of the hymn-like eastern European flavoured tune, Estelle continuously varies the treatment of it, producing not a set of variations but a richly-coloured exploration, throwing the attention from cello to orchestra and back; sometimes the cello seeming to act as a cantor to the orchestral congregation. It is an excellent piece of both orchestration and development. And of course, very pertinent to events today.