The Rev. Paul J. Cain reviews Vespers in the Liturgy, Hymnody, and Pulpit Quarterly Book Review, whose motto is: Critical reviews (by Lutheran pastors and church musicians) of books and other resources for Christian worship, preaching, and church music from a perspective rooted in Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and good common sense. LHP Quarterly Book Review asks, “Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?”
…an exceptional treat… a modern restatement of Renaissance-era wind bands for a sacred context… a fusion of the 16th Century and our 21st. I think Dr. Luther would be at home and J. S. Bach would appreciate what was going on… one hears a transcendent heavenly setting of “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright”… Psalm 113 completes the trilogy of psalms in preparation for a 13th Century tune used by the Bohemian Brethren in the 16th Century. The psalm setting is hauntingly beautiful. I simply couldn’t wait to sing along. Remember that included sheet music?
The recording is at once recognizable as a liturgical service of Vespers… may be able to include some pared-down portions of the music for a congregational service of Vespers. The music is full of life, joy, and celebration appropriate for a New Year’s Eve service, a congregational anniversary, a building dedication, or an ordination.
Piffaro is blessed with skilled musicians, a creative composer in Kile Smith, and a daring record label, Navona Records. The combination produced a fresh, reverent, and timeless recording that is historically and musically grounded in the best of Christian liturgy and hymnody. What are they working on next?
The composition and recording of Vespers is inspired and inspiring.
Read it all here.