Margaret Rizza, Sarum Voices - The Celtic Collection

Published Wednesday 12th April 2017
Margaret Rizza, Sarum Voices - The Celtic Collection
Margaret Rizza, Sarum Voices - The Celtic Collection

STYLE: Celtic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 164255-25027
LABEL: Convivium

Reviewed by Ian Whitwood

Margaret is a legend in the church music world and this, her 27th album, is a work of art! She has, with the help of choral director Ben Lamb, skilfully wedded the Sarum Voices and the instrumentalists and conveyed an almost spiritual unity reflecting the prayerful intentions of the songs. There are 18 songs (or chants) inspired by the likes of St Patrick and they are the culmination of Margaret's 30 year study of spirituality. "May God Shield Me" features a cello and violin intro with the soprano-led choir and Jennifer Tilley's clarinet solo gloriously showcased. "Awaken Me" is a very real and very relevant prayer for every believer, "Awaken me Lord to your purpose/Open my mind to your guiding." Cathy Lamb's organ emphasises the urgency of the choir's words. "Jesu, Meet It Were To Praise Him" is a flowing song of praise beginning with chimes and concluding with an exultant and full blooded climax from the Sarum choir. St Patrick's famous prayer, "Christ be before me, behind me and about me; Christ this day be within and around me" is a simple four-part acapella anthem entitled "Christ As Light". The theme continues in "Prayer Of St Patrick" as woodwind adds to the mood and the choir's chant overlaps with the instrumentation to emphasise the words, "Christ my life and only way; Christ my lantern night and day." The album concludes with "Trinity Blessing" and the words describe Margaret's spiritual journey and also her wish that "the door be open wide for you to go into your joy."

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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