“The CD stands apart from the work of art song pace-setters such as Ricky Ian Gordon, Libby Larsen Lori Laitman and Jake Heggie in several respects. Abel’s music often displays a raw emotional urgency whose origin seems to lie partly in the rock world he once was a part of; yet the music is refined and frequently beautiful, yardsticks agreed upon by most aficionados of classical.…” —Theresa Colby
“Mark Abel is well versed in classical music, jazz and rock, yet what he writes is original and wonderfully unclassifiable. He paints the emotions, but the drawing beneath is intellectually rigorous; there’s nothing sappy here. The title, ‘Terrain of the Heart,’ is apt. He takes you on a journey that almost feels like a geographical expedition; the sights can be mysterious and harrowing, but the traveler’s hope persists. … This CD is a wonder and makes me want to hear more from Abel.” —Lyle York
“This is the third of composer Mark Abel’s CDs I’ve purchased and I’m very happy I did so. Both singers and their piano accompanist are of the first rank and the sound quality is superb… These are songs that go right for your heart and pull you in emotionally. Abel’s musical career has spanned genres; it’s hard for me to categorize influences or tell you whose music these songs are ‘like’—they’re originals and absolutely worth hearing/owning. There are stories here you want to know.” —K. Albright
“Composer Mark Abel has the keen ability to convey the feeling of being in a new and magical place in an unexpected and beautiful way. Through the unique marriage of digital sounds and crisp vocals, I’m aware that I’m listening to something far different than I’ve ever heard.” —Brook L.
“California composer Mark Abel’s “Terrain of the Heart” is an art song CD of uncommon quality and originality. It covers quite a bit of musical and lyric ground… Abel is adept at writing a deeply personal type of lyric that sounds totally convincing when sung by a woman. The piano writing in these three very different compositions fits the texts like a glove. …” —M. Hudson