STYLE: RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 130866-BOK666 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: Book Music/song book
Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
Edwin Fawcett is a talented young composer and musician who, unusually, has one foot in the gospel camp and the other in Roman Catholic liturgy. A Catholic Kendrick, anyone? However, Fawcett's musical style, at least as exhibited in this songbook, is much closer in feel to Taize. There is a choice of songbooks with both piano/vocal/guitar and melody/guitar chord editions available along with a download album so you can hear the work for yourself or use it as a backing track in worship. The download features an unnamed soprano leading as "Cantor = Priest, or Deacon or other minister" with a small choir responding as the "People" plus guitar and keyboard which are, at a guess, played by the multi-talented Mr Fawcett. The words are in English, taken from the 2010 translation of The Roman Missal. As background music this is pleasant enough but there is nothing that leaps off the page and makes me want to use it next time I lead worship on a Sunday. Not being a Roman Catholic I cannot comment on how well this might work when used as written as a Mass but as a music lover I can say it will not replace any of the great Masses, such as those by Bach, Haydn or Mozart, that I turn to for edification and entertainment. But then that is surely not why this was written. Edwin Fawcett has a passion for worship and talent as both composer and musician and I do not for one moment think his purpose in writing this setting of the Mass was to entertain a Protestant music lover. I do not see why this is a Mass "of Blessed John Paul II" as it does not seem to connect with what I know of his life in any significant way but perhaps it is I who is missing the point here. This is difficult to recommend to general listeners but if you have an interest in contemporary Catholic praise and worship then you might find this worthwhile.
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