Wednesday, July 21, 2010
A Cranbrook Sampler
I heard the Christ Church Cranbrook Choir several Sundays ago when they sang at Mass at my church, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and felt I was in the midst of heavenly hosts praising God. It’s not easy to sing in the world’s largest gothic cathedral, with its seven second reverberation, but their voices rang out with majesty and power.
At coffee hour I went up to several choir members to tell them how lifted up I was by their singing and asked if they had recorded any CDs. Luckily they have. Assistant organist Christopher E. Reynolds kindly sent me a copy of their recent release, A Cranbrook Sampler, made up of 14 “anthem favorites” of the Choir members. It in every way lives up to the glory I experienced when they visited us.
My soul is sent soaring by Jennifer DeMello-Johnson’s solo on Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum,” a standout in a recording of exceptionally sung classics. Sacred music doesn’t get any better than that.
I enjoy every selection, though, from the comforting “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” to the rousing “Followers of the Lamb,” the gentle “A Gaelic Blessing” and the great gospel finish with “True Light.” “There is Balm in Gilead” is so beautiful it makes me cry -- and it features another exquisite solo, by Tara Sievers.
I hope the Choir, which is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, will come back to sing for us again. In the meantime, I am blessed to have this CD in my collection.