Stars was originally commissioned and composed for mixed choir by the Salt Lake Vocal Artists / Salt Lake Choral Artists and Brady Allred in 2011. In 2014 Michaelhouse Chapel Choir and William Silk from South Africa and Regalo Tokyo, Japan commisioned Stars for male choir and female choir respectively.
Stars, which Ešenvalds made in 2011 for Salt Lake Vocal Artists / Salt Lake Choral Artists, is a setting of words by Sara Teasdale. The composer's favourite tuned wine glasses are a constant presence in the piece, a glistening accompaniment to the glowing simplicity of this vision of ‘beating hearts of fire’ seen overhead on a still, dark night. The wondrousness of a ‘heaven full of stars’ is evoked by a radiant chorale before a repeated oscillation of a pair of chords, adding to the magic, recedes into silence.
— from notes by Gabriel Jackson © 2015