Chestnut Hill is the neighborhood in Philadelphia that saw one of the two premiere performances of Vespers, and the Chestnut Hill Local is its award-winning weekly:
Chestnut Hill Local
Michael Caruso, 26 Nov 2009
If you’re looking to give the gift of music with a local connection this Christmas season.… Piffaro, the Renaissance Band, and The Crossing, the chamber choir, have joined forces to record Kile Smith’s Vespers.… It’s a modern setting of the traditional Vespers liturgy of the German Lutheran Church for chorus and period instruments.… Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of Smith’s Vespers is his nearly unique ability to blend the traditional outlines of centuries of musical settings… with the harmonic sounds of modern music.… he managed it all without ever sounding either condescending or constricted.
His vocal writing is no less impressive… one of the most amazing aspects of Smith’s Vespers [is] the organic integration of the instrumental and vocal parts to produce… one multi-textured and multi-colored body of sound… Both the singing and the playing are splendid.