Jim Lahti: Of Death and the Planets

Joel Rudin, Matt Goeke, Renée Cometa Briggs, Kurt Briggs, David Kossoff, Rufus Müller, Timothy Maureen Cole, Margaret Swinchoski

Catalog #: TROY1779-80
Release Date: September 1, 2019
Format: Digital

of death and the planets is a large song cycle by composer Jim Lahti, setting a poetry collection of the same name by John McEveety Woodruff. The work is, essentially, a 15-movement journey and over the course of approximately an hour and a half the listener will be transported through the solar system with occasional stops along the way for five departed souls with personal connections to Mr. Woodruff. Both the poems and the music are at times dramatic, poignant, sad, loving — and periodically whimsical. Passionate about music, di.vi.sion is an exciting group that seeks to move audiences. Formed in 1997 by violinist Kurt Briggs, the name is inspired by the group's flexibility to divide forces as needed and by their predisposition to commission new works using the musical form of division. Composer Jim Lahti's music has been heard in concerts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, and France as well as on radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. He is the 2018 recipient of the BRIO Award for excellence in music composition from the Bronx Council on the Arts. English-German tenor Rufus Müller has an active career performing for oratorio and opera and has worked with many of the world's leading conductor. Soprano Timothy Maureen Cole is a graduate of Westminster Choir College and Ithaca College. She has extensive performance experience in classical as well as musical theater repertoire.


Choose your platform

Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
of death and the planets Jim Lahti Rufus Müller (narrator/tenor); Timothy Maureen Cole (soprano); Margaret Swinchoski (flute); David Kossoff (oboe); Kurt Briggs (violin); Joel Rudin (viola); Matt Goeke (cello); Renée Cometa Briggs (piano)


  • "Written by composer Jim Lahti sporadically over the course of ten years from 2005-2015, Of Death And The Planets deals not just with the planets in our solar system, but also with the death of five of poet John McEveety Woodruff's friends. Each movement either deals with a planet or one of these friends (and family members), so that the celestial and corporeal bodies seem paired up as we hear one poem after another, the music and text alternating between planets and humans. Though Lahti's website hasn't been updated in seven years, one can glean from his works list that musicals are very impor¬tant to him as a genre, and this feeling of spontaneous, soul-searching monolog exists comfortably in these 19 movements that combine speech with music. Well performed by Timothy Maureen Cole, Rufus Müller, and the musicians of Di.Vi.Sion, this piece is a refreshing and unique take on fascinating subject matter that has also held the gaze of so many composers of yesterday."

    – American Record Guide

*Album cover provided for Editorial use only. ©Albany Records. The Albany Imprint is a registered trademark of PARMA Recordings LLC. The views and opinions expressed in this media are those of the artist and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views and opinions held by PARMA Recordings LLC and its label imprints, subsidiaries, and affiliates.