A ‘Passion’ for the Ages: A Religious Masterpiece Comes to Blu-Ray

"The best viewing experience, in my opinion, is 24 frames per second, either with Richard Einhorn’s transcendent oratorio Voices of Light or in silence."

Steven D. Greydanus, National Catholic Register
The Passion of Joan of Arc

"The sound, such that it is, consists of three separate musical scores, the most prominent of which is, of course, Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light, which was included in the prior Criterion release and which has more or less become the film's commonly accepted accompaniment. Einhorn's work gets the full 5.1 treatment, and it remains a stunning piece of music."

Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
Beautiful Classic ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’ is Restored to Life

"Unlike many large-scale productions of the time, Dreyer did not have a pre-written score sent with the film. The restoration uses the operetta music of Richard Einhorn and instrumental music composed by Adrian Utley and Will Gregory. The music is hauntingly beautiful and will tear viewers’ hearts out. The score elevates the film, providing an extra layer of depth and pathos."

Guru Ramanathan, Washington Square News
A Restored 'Passion of Joan of Arc' Still a Transcendent Masterpiece

"This 'realized mysticism,' as Dreyer termed it in a 1929 essay, is reinforced by the score, Richard Einhorn’s 1995 oratorio 'Voices of Light.'

"The music, however bombastic, never overwhelms or distracts from the images — as hypnotic and fragmented as they are — and may actually render them stronger. The world seems unstable, even when the camera is static. Not time but space is out of joint."

J. Hoberman, New York Times
‘Joan of Arc’ burns down Holmberg Hall

"On Sunday, the University of Oklahoma’s venerable Holmberg Hall beheld what may have been one of the most spectacular multimedia performances the state has ever seen.

"The experience of hearing a university chorale, women’s chorus and men’s glee club ensemble of nearly 150 voices singing with a 26-piece orchestra was magnificently overwhelming. Coupled with moving images that Einhorn characterized as “one of the most extraordinary works of art I know” made it a singular event."

Doug Hill, Norman Transcript
With 'Voices of Light,' composer touches the soul

"Richard Einhorn's masterful composition is set as a live soundtrack to the 1928 silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc." In it, Einhorn shows exquisite technical skills and has created an emotional, insightful text."

Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel
Silent films and their soaring music are rediscovered

"Still, to understand what makes silent film so special, the central place of music can't be avoided.... This was especially the case with Einhorn's music and 'Joan of Arc.' From the moment those Master Choral voices rang out, the enormous emotional connection the combination of sound and image created was transporting. The live music enhances what we see, bringing us inside the film, inside Joan's experience, enabling us to in a sense go on her spiritual journey with her."

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"At the end, the audience didn’t know whether to applaud or burst into tears. After a few moments, the applause won and turned into a standing ovation, although there were probably a few tears, as well." Read More...
Lily Grace M. Hudson, Annapolis Capital Gazette
"Einhorn's score shifts styles and harmonies, always heightening the impact of the film. From the first notes before the film begins, the chorus sings a haunting melody a Capella, moving us back in time, with the music swelling dramatically as the credits appear on screen. The music flows with the drama depicted in the film, emotionally matching its intensity, often in layers of wondrous sound, until the final frame." Read More...
Mary Johnson, Baltimore Sun
"Voices Of Light" Channels Joan Of Arc At Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall
"In a rare and masterful combination of old avant-garde film and contemporary classical music, 'Voices of Light' will provide a new, sensual experience to the compelling story of Joan of Arc."
Huffington Post
Baltimore Symphony entertains with 'Voices of Light'
"Einhorn honors Dreyer's "Passion" with an oratorio that does more than flesh out the drama."
Samantha Buker, Washington Post
Voices of Light at the Berkshire Choral Festival
"... the event marks an unexpected addition to the local music calendar—and an opportunity to demonstrate to local choral fans that there’s approachable contemporary repertoire out there that doesn’t spring from the pens of Eric Whitacre or Arvo Pärt."
David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun
"Combining the powerful yet tragic music performed flawlessly by the chorus and chamber orchestra with the mesmerizing horror of the film made for a riveting evening, probably the best mix of old silent film and contemporary live music in the repertoire." Read More...
Priscilla Mclean, Albany Times Union
"TIFF Lightbox artistic director Noah Cowan admitted afterward that he was happy he wasn't called on to speak after the film. "That film just turned me to jelly," he said." Read More...
John Terauds, Toronto Star
"Even without any sound at all, Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 silent film of the trial, torture and execution of Joan of Arc makes compelling viewing. Augmented by a live soundtrack by American composer Richard Einhorn, performed by a gang of talented Torontonians conducted by David Fallis at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Tuesday night, this is multimedia at its most riveting." Read More...
John Terauds, Toronto Star
"About 16 years and more than 100 live performances later, Dreyer's film, 'The Passion of Joan of Arc,' coupled with Einhorn's oratorio, 'Voices of Light,' remains a startling experience, even for those who've seen it before." Read More...
Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, Grand Rapids Press
"The rediscovery inspired Einhorn, a New York-based composer, to composer an oratorio that draws on Medieval musical influences and texts in Latin and Old French to set a haunting scene for the events as they unfold." Read More...
Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, Grand Rapids Press
Reflection and Anticipation: Highlights from 2009
"The Boise Philharmonic's 'Voices of Light,' an oratorio to Carl Dreyer's silent film 'The Passion of Joan of Arc' by Richard Einhorn (Jan. 24). Stunningly moving - especially the angelic College of Idaho's women's choir - the lyrically rich score echoed the film for an engaging evening of multimedia performance."
Idaho Statesman
The Passion of Joan of Arc

"... the second audio track sets the film to Richard Einhorn's 'Voices of Light,' an ‘Opera/Oratorio,' as the DVD has it, inspired by The Passion of Joan of Arc. The music is beautiful, haunting, wonderful; it suits the film perfectly. The pace of the editing is perfectly matched by the methodical counterpoint in Einhorn's score (particularly during her early interrogations and the scene in the torture chamber). Even if it wasn't written to be a score to the film, precisely, it goes down as one of the best silent film scores ever."

Matthew Dessem, Criterion Contraption
"...a must see event."
Detroit Free Press
David Hattner conducting "Voices of Light," Richard Einhorn's score for Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc."
"In any event, the audience that packed the Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan on Thursday night for a free performance seemed too swept away by 'Voices of Light' to care about its category." Read More...
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
"Einhorn's oratorio aims to soar and complement [Joan of Arc], creating a unique and fascinating combination of the two arts."
"Dreyer's stunning on its own...But the tumultuous score, with it's echoes of chant and church bells, takes it over the edge."
Buffalo Times
"...'Voices of Light', a stand-alone piece of considerable substance and beauty...the plaintive lament after Joan's medicinal bleeding is heart-breaking."
Sydney Morning Herald
"A moving score, expertly performed, sublimely matches one of the great films of all time."
Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times
"'Voices of Light' [is] a Triumph..."
Los Angeles Times
"Dreyer and Einhorn together create a harrowing and exalting symbiosis that, once encountered, cannot soon be forgotten... [Einhorn's oratorio is] a substantial and valuable work, combining elements of Renaissance music with the slow, spare, mostly consonant, deeply felt and prayerful strain of contemporary composition that has come to be known as 'holy minimalism' ... subtle, brilliantly effective."
Tim Page, Washington Post
"... instead of using the conventional silent film vocabulary...Mr. Einhorn has composed an oratorio that amplifies and comments on the film, sometimes directly, often obliquely... Musically, the score pivots between Joan's world and ours, using a medieval style that sounds authentically antique for stretches, but that invariably unfolds into a post-Minimalist combination of repeating figures and lush neo-Romantic orchestration."
Allan Kozinn, New York Times
"['Voices of Light'/'The Passion of Joan of Arc'] is the most successful melding yet of classic cinema and live music...full of deft touches."
David Patrick Stearns, USA Today
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