Never Final, Never Gone

Never Final, Never Gone

From St. Petersburg to Ghana
Jeremy Beck
Cynthia Ellis
Heather Coltman
Maria Kolaiko
Nevsky String Quartet
Roberta Garten
Tatiana Razoumova
UNI Concert Chorale
UNI Percussion Ensemble
Catalog Number: 
new classical
solo voice

Louisville, KY

Release Date: 
Aug 12, 2008
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Though we may live in an “in-your-face” musical age, Jeremy Beck’s lyrical and expressive compositions, conversely, exhibit the fine care and intricate passion of a master jeweler. Now, from his workbench comes a new recording that features chamber and vocal music in varying combinations, all of which display a compelling filigree of an original American tonal dialect wedded to a lively and impassioned rhythmic profile.

Beck also provides snapshots of other times and places – while teaching in St. Petersburg, the sacred music of the Russian Orthodox Church was the inspiration for his third string quartet, Shadows & Light, and the timeless beauty of the city suggested the title track. In addition, his Kopeyia reflects his study of traditional West African drumming in Ghana.

From his shop in Louisville, Kentucky, Jeremy Beck (b. 1960) has created a catalogue of work that not only speaks directly to a listener’s heart and mind, but that musicians love to play – the beauty and intensity of his music is brought to life on this recording by the nuanced and brilliant performances of those dedicated to his artistic vision. 


“Beck’s concern for communication and naturally evolved dramatic form … is apparent from the start … [of] Never Final, Never Gone. … The Toccata from the Four Piano Pieces is … spirited and attractive [and] … immediately imparts a feeling of warmth and familiarity; the remaining piano pieces are either expressive or rhythmically dynamic, and are played with care and enthusiasm by pianist Heather Coltman. Kopeyia [for percussion ensemble] is a joyous din of spicy rhythm[;] … [i]t takes a certain amount of skill to write something for a formal ensemble that comes out sounding informal, and this is what Beck has achieved.” [FULL ARTICLE]
David N. Lewis

“American composer Jeremy Beck … was committed to tonality and a recognizable musical vernacular long before that became the hip bandwagon it is today. … [Beck is] an original voice celebrating music. Without self-consciousness, without paralyzing abstraction, Beck reminds us that music is movement, physically and emotionally. … The disc leads off with a fine performance of a string quartet titled 'Shadows & Light.' The first movement digs into an energizing strum not unlike the cutting-edge repertory typically played by the Kronos Quartet or even Ethel, the amplified quartet, though Beck’s piece is all acoustic. The second movement of the work … starts with slow, intense music[.] … The buildup of tension breaks into a syncopated presto, … [but the slow music] keep[s] undercutting the faster music, with which it struggles and intertwines[.] … With wrenching power, the [opening] hymn pulls the music into a remote, peaceful ending. … [V]itally enjoyable, … Beck’s music is well worth hearing and Innova deserves thanks for putting another relevant voice in front of the public eye.” [FULL ARTICLE]
—Mark Sebastian Jordan