Love So Amazing – The hymn arrangements of Stuart Forster
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Michael S. Murray, conductor; Stuart Forster, organist — Love So Amazing - The hymn arrangements of Stuart Forster
Release date : May. 24, 2019
Label : Affetto Records
Tracklist:
  1. Jesus Christ is risen today
  2. Songs of thankfulness and praise
  3. Amazing grace
  4. New songs of celebration render
  5. Come down, O Love divine
  6. For all the saints
  7. He is risen
  8. Sing, ye faithful, sing with gladness
  9. Hail the day that sees Him rise
  10. All creatures of our God and King
  11. I heard the voice of Jesus say
  12. When I survey the wondrous cross
  13. Lord, you give the great commission
  14. When in our music God is glorified
  15. O God of earth and altar
  16. Come, thou fount of every blessing
  17. Be thou my vision
  18. Angel-voices ever singing
  19. Jerusalem

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 Hymn singing is a foundation of the protestant churches, but not normally the subject of an album released worldwide. The musicianship presented here is singular, sung by two volunteer choirs with power and emotion. The inspired arrangements heard on this recording have developed over decades of working with wonderful choirs and congregations, as well as by singing with, and listening to, many inspired colleagues. Some of the descants were conceived for particular services, while other arrangements grew further for special occasions. Several of the brass arrangements were composed for the ordination and consecration of the Rt. Rev. Alan Gates as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in 2014.

Australians Michael S. Murray and Stuart Forster, outstanding individual musicians, have worked together for more than 20 years, including conducting and accompanying in one another’s Episcopal churches, Christ Church in Cambridge and Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, located on opposite sides of the river Charles in Boston, Massachusetts, and during choir tours throughout America and Europe. Waiting and planning for the right moment to share their combined parish traditions of engaged singing from the vast legacy of hymnody bestowed upon the Anglican tradition has been fulfilled in this album. The installation of the exquisite Schoenstein organ at Church of the Redeemer, the restoration of the acoustic in Henry Vaughan’s exquisite architecture, and the publication of some of Stuart Forster’s hymn arrangements made the timing just right. What you will hear on this album is a superlative combined choir of about eighty voices singing some of the best-known hymns accompanied by a newly designed organ as they’ve never been heard before.