Reviewed by Gabriel Porras
Marcos Witt is one of the most influential Christian artists in the Spanish-speaking world, not only for his ubiquitous presence, touring and recording his own material, but also because he founded one of the largest labels in Spanish-speaking worship music: CanZion. (Through CanZion he has nurtured many artists, among them the multi-award winner ROJO, reviewed in this same magazine.) Marcos has sold over seven million of his own records to date, and up to one million people attend his concerts every year - no wonder he favours stadiums all across the American continent (including the 80-thousand seater Azteca stadium in Mexico City, where Maradona scored that infamous goal with a little help from the "Hand of God"). Witt won a Latin Grammy in 2003, for the Best Christian Album Of The Year, and in 2004 came to these shores to record a Christmas album with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. He is, without a doubt, a top professional. 'Sana NuestraTierra' ('Heal Our Land') is one of those big live events that he so clearly relishes. It was recorded in a large church in Houston, Texas, on 01 November 2001, in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of New York. "If my people humble themselves... I will heal their land" (2 Chr. 7:14). This record aims to be a Christian response to that atrocity, and it is very refreshing to see Marcos paying respect to great men of God who have been preaching the Gospel to Latin America for decades: Luis Palau, Osvaldo Motessi, Victor Richards and Brother Pablo. These four elderly evangelists feature in the live recording, interceding very movingly for the nations (this worldwide perspective is further emphasised in track FIVE, "Let The Nations Proclaim", where we are treated to worship in Arabic, Portuguese and German.) I know this is not supposed to be the point, but I was amazed at how seamlessly Marcos managed to cue these venerable evangelists in and out of the flow of the melody, so that their prayers are not simply incidental, awkwardly filling the gaps, but really become part of the collective musical effort. Beautiful. The only time the flow is broken is in track three, where the prayer is assigned to a hapless boy who sounds more like a girl with a very serious cold -cute, but very clumsy. Apart from that slight hiccup, this is a fine album if you like your worship music live.
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