Friday, July 25, 2008
Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark has given us a delightful sampling of different genres of music in her first solo CD, "Fifteen Seconds of Grace.” It’s a CD for the spirit.
She starts with the beautiful hymn, “How Can I Keep from Singing?” This is often thought of as a Quaker hymn, but it’s not. It was written in 1860 by Robert Wadsworth Lowry, a Baptist minister. Like Pete Seeger who popularized the song in the 1960s, Clark omits the Christian wording of the original, substituting the word love for Christ, but listening to her sing it is like listening to a prayer. I love the message -- “No storm can shake my inmost calm/While to that rock I’m clinging;/Since love is Lord of Heav’n and earth,/How can I keep from singing?”
Other selections include music I consider inspiring, although from completely different sources. Good movie and Broadway music always lifts my soul, and that’s just what Clark does when she sings “It Might Be You” from “Tootsie,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” from Hello, Dolly and “I Got Lost in His Arms” from Annie Get Your Gun. She’s also introduced me to a new song to cherish, Jane Kelly Williams’ lovely ballad “Thomas.”
Adding to the beauty of this CD is the impressive group of accompanying musicians, including John and Bucky Pizzarelli, under the direction of Ted Sperling.
In the liner notes, Ms. Clark explains why she included the title song, also by Ms. Williams: “Sometimes we experience these little gifts, moments that can be so short, maybe only 15 seconds, that remind us that we are forgiven, or that we are loved, or that we are lovable -- reminders that keep us humble, and pure, and whole.”
Lovable, pure and whole are just how I would describe Fifteen Seconds of Grace, another CD well worth adding to your collection.