Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
This set of 10 hymns ancient ("Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing", "How Great Thou Art", "Precious Lord, Take My Hand", "Great Is Thy Faithfulness") and modern ("In Christ Alone", "Lamb Of God", "Here I Am To Worship", "The Power Of The Cross"), was recorded in both the USA and the Czech Republic. Mary, who has a suitably impressive CV as actress, singer and friend of many in political high places, intones the familiar words with a warm and generally accurate contralto voice, and the Prague Symphony Orchestra provides suitably lush string-based arrangements. But the tempo is exclusively slow to medium and the arrangements are pitched rather low, so as a result, there's no need for any powerful vocal performances which adds to the overall blandness and soporific mood. And in truth, the renditions here can't compete with the composers' cuts of the modern songs by Stuart Townend, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Tim Hughes and Twila Paris, nor with some of the excellent readings of these ancient hymns that I've heard down the years.
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