ARSIS Audio, a division of ECS Publishing Group, is excited to announce the release of two new albums featuring piano music composed and recorded by Timothy Shaw. The albums, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing and Nativity Scenes, offer listeners a new take on a collection of familiar hymn tunes and Christmas carols that can inspire throughout the year.
In each recording, Shaw presents a fresh, sometimes surprising interpretation of a well-known hymn tune that invites the listener to consider these melodies in a new light. Reflective and contemplative, the piano arrangements are particularly suited for performance in worship services, and the recordings make for stirring listening on their own.
Nativity Scenes offers a selection of well-loved Christmas favorites such as “Silent Night” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and carols that might not be as familiar, such as “The Wexford Carol” and “Sing We Now of Christmas.” Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing is a collection of hymn tunes suitable for the worship service or for personal reflection. The album includes arrangements ranging from the majestic “All Creatures of Our God and King” to a series of exploratory variations on the lively “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.” The variety of textures and interpretations on these albums provide a stimulating listening experience for any time of the year.
Timothy Shaw’s award-winning music is a familiar sound to many church musicians through his many sacred music publications. As a composer he has received various honors, including the ALCM Raabe Price for Excellence in Sacred Composition. Keyboard collections of the arrangements recorded on the albums are available for purchase from MorningStar Music for those wishing to explore the music further. The digital albums will be available as an ARSIS Digital Release on all major streaming services.
My new album, Hymns of Comfort and Praise, has been released and may be ordered through iTunes. With 20 tracks and nearly an hour of music, this album includes such favorite hymns as “It Is Well with My Soul,” “Blessed Assurance,” and “Holy, Holy, Holy!”
The Augsburg Fortress catalog now contains my latest book of hymn settings for piano, Easy Hymns for the Church Pianist, volume 2. There’s a baker’s dozen of 13 tunes: Assurance, Crusader’s Hymn (Schönster Herr Jesu), Divinum mysterium, Dix, Ellacombe, Foundation, Give Me Jesus, Gloria, Hyfrydol, Resignation, Stille Nacht, The Ash Grove, and Wondrous Love. Many of these are included on my new album, Hymns of Comfort and Praise(coming soon!).
Here’s a little background on this volume: As a church musician, I know that finding time to learn new repertoire can be difficult. And, as a classically trained pianist, I know that finding satisfying, idiomatic hymn settings can be difficult, too. With this collection, I have attempted to write pieces that are not too technically challenging but that are still engaging for the performer and listener alike. “Angels We Have Heard on High” is a lot of fun to play, and it sounds like “Christmas” to me. “Give Me Jesus” does not require great technical facility, but it does require artistry to attain its full emotional impact. “What Wondrous Love Is This” captures the drama of the hymn text and ends with a moment of transcendent longing: “and through eternity I’ll sing on.” I hope you enjoy playing these pieces as much as I do!
My new album, Hymns of Comfort and Praise, has been recorded, mixed, and mastered. Now it will be duplicated and should be available for sale (through iTunes) very soon. In the meantime, enjoy this sample track, “It Is Well with My Soul” (from my 52 in 52 series):
The Master’s College Chorale (Paul Plew, conductor) has released a stunning new recording that includes my setting of Great Is Thy Faithfulness(SATB, a cappella), in addition to hymn arrangements, spirituals and original works by Alice Parker, Moses Hogan and Dan Forrest. If you would like to use this piece with your choir, contact me for more information.
Concordia Publishing House has released a 2 CD set, Hymns for All Saints, that contains 31 choral settings of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. My recently published setting of “The Twenty-Third Psalm” is included. Click here for more information.
REJOICE! Devotional Hymn Settings is now available through iTunes. This recording includes 25 tracks (nearly an hour of music), ranging from quiet and contemplative to loud and celebratory. Preview and download tracks or the full album here.
Cynthia Folio, one of my former music theory professors, has released a CD of new music for flute. In addition to being an excellent theorist, she is a fine composer. You can order it through amazon.com.
If you’re looking for a CD of fine choral singing, this recording of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers will not disappoint. One of my all-time favorites, this recording is of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, conducted by Robert Shaw himself.