At the Cross: Remembering Christ's Sacrifice and Love.
Lloyd Larson's 12 arrangements in Be Still are designed for personal and congregational meditation. The collection is marked as moderately easy because of key choice and prolific use of choral style (Magrath levels 6-8). More expressive in scope are "Near to the Heart of God" and "Jesus Paid It All" with their simple arpeggiated accompaniments. Larson uses harmonic variation tastefully throughout. A particular favorite was the calming "Be Still, My Soul" with "Be Still and Know." The edition is uncluttered but intermediate students will need fingering and pedal assistance.
In Then Sings My Soul, Richard Kingsmore shares with believers his relationship to God with 10 arrangements suitable for personal worship or Praise & Worship settings. The collection is marked as moderately advanced (Magrath levels 8-10) due in part to rhythmic syncopation extending beyond accompaniment patterns into the manipulation of melodic rhythm. Kingsmore uses clear formal structures and harmonic substitutions enliven familiar melodies.
Larson et al have captured nine of our favorite African American spirituals in Feel the Spirit with settings that highlight the harmonic and rhythmic styling of beloved songs. Berry's "There is a Balm in Gilead" displays beautiful pianistic figuration and Pethel's "Give Me Jesus" is an excellent choice to reinforce voicing for late intermediate students. Labenske's swing setting of "Joshua Fit the Battle" utilizes a picturesque glissando and Schubert's duet setting of "Every Time I Feel the Spirit" is energetic and fun!
In Standing on the Promises, Marilyn Ham beautifully reflects texts and original musical style as in the setting of "Lamb of God," the energetic "Standing on the Promises" and the picturesque "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence." The difficulty level is moderately advanced because of key choices, expansive keyboard range, and large blocked chords. "There is a Balm in Gilead" is an excellent contest choice to display drama and technique. Some pianists may be drawn to the stylistic plurality of "Give Me Jesus" with the inclusion of Chopin's Polonaise-Fantasie, Op. 61 and blues.
The 10 arrangements in Lavawan Riley's At the Cross turn our attention to beloved texts that for years have expressed Christ's sacrifice in meaningful ways. The moderately difficult settings of "Crown Him with Many Crowns" and "Were You There?" are of special interest for their extended length, mature keyboard technique, and majestic settings. The edition provides no pedaling or fingering assistance but Riley provides a helpful amount of expressive indications.--Reviewed by Deanna C. Moore, Bob Jones University
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|Author:||Moore, Deanna C.|
|Publication:||American Music Teacher|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2011|
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