The Kings Chamber Orchestra - String Heaven: Live Improvised String Worship

Published Friday 22nd February 2008
The Kings Chamber Orchestra - String Heaven: Live Improvised String Worship
The Kings Chamber Orchestra - String Heaven: Live Improvised String Worship

STYLE: Orchestral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 32986-13349
RELEASE DATE: 2007-11-10
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Nigel Harris

The Kings Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1985 by Gerard Le Feuvre, a world-class cellist who was honoured by the Royal Academy Of Music with the title Associate for "outstanding achievement in the music profession." There is no doubting the professionalism and consummate skill of these 19 musicians, but what brings this album alive is the way Le Feuvre has managed not only to capture the beautifully crafted orchestral arrangements of old and new worship classics such as "Amazing Grace", "Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord", "In Christ Alone" and "Here I Am To Worship", but also to recreate in the studio the spontaneous improvised worship for which this orchestra is famous. Le Feuvre comments, "It is no easy task to record spontaneity but as far as possible we have tried to mirror these special moments in concerts by recording whole takes with little or no editing." If improvised orchestral music sounds like a bit of a contradiction I would encourage you to listen to this (or even better, catch the orchestra in concert - dates are listed at This album manages remarkably well to capture a sense of spontaneity and worship that I found pleasantly surprising and uplifting.

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.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Reader Comments

Posted by Lucy Lee in Earls Barton England @ 11:30 on Jul 5 2008

Lucy writes: I’ve always found that putting on a ‘Me poor li’ll chinee girl’ look always works on Western men but this time they were adamant. “We want you to review String Heaven, the new CD by the Kings Chamber Orchestra.” “Why?”
“Because not being a Christian, you’ll come to the tunes afresh with no pre-conceived ideas.”
So I placed the CD into my laptop and clicked play. Immediately I recognised the first track. Has anyone who has lived in this country not heard Be Still for the presence of the Lord? But this soft and gentle version rolled over me and I was instantly transfixed. And when the harp chimed in with the violi it was so beautiful I nearly cried.
Likewise, having seen the movie, I also recognised track 9 which was ‘Amazing Grace’. Personally I’d buy this CD just for those two tracks alone, however I know our editor is a Kristin Getty fan and so track 7 In Christ Alone would have had his vote immediately as it was co-written by Kristin’s husband, Keith Getty.
Then I cheated a bit by asking a Christian friend from a village house group around to listen over a cup of coffee. She told me that many of the other tracks were based on songs that she has sung, one time or another, at Spring Harvest, but she had never heard such a beautiful rendition. “The tempo is slow and very relaxing” she said “it would be ideal for a quiet moment alone either to meditate or simply unwind.”
The Kings Chamber Orchestra, directed by Gerard Le Feuvre consists of violins, violi, celli, a bass and a harp. They have recorded many romantic miniatures in the past with a handful of improvisations thrown in but this is their first venture into improvising worship music. They intend a series of “Heaven” albums and concerts and I must admit, I’d love to review String Heaven 2 when it comes out!
Other Fave Tracks: I think about your sacrifice, Father, I want you to hold me; How deep the Father’s love; What love is this?
In Christ alone; Hide me now; Here I am to Worship - oh, all of them! Even if you already have these on other recordings, you’ll enjoy these soothing arrangements.
Overview: You do not have to be a Christian to appreciate this wonderful CD. I really hope that this gets a wider audience and is not simply stocked in the “Religious Music” section at your record store.
Lucy Lee
For Barton Today Magazine

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

Add your comment

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.