2019 ALCM Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition award-winning piece

Beckenhorst

SATB, piano  Editors' Choice

A time-honored text comes to life in this passionate setting for SATB Choir and Piano. Both beautiful and powerful in the telling of the story of salvation, placing the cross and the Crucified “in our hearts forever.” Suitable for any occasion of worship during Passion Week, particularly poignant for Good Friday.

With its focus on the cross of Christ, His suffering and our response, the thought-provoking Savonarola text of “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary” (SATB, Piano, BP 2098, $2.00), ably set by Timothy Shaw, deserves consideration for Lenten or Good Friday services. (The Journal, National Association of Church Musicians, Jan-Feb 2017, vol. 68/1)

The Raabe Prize selection committee included the following comments regarding Jesus, Refuge of the Weary in their report to the ALCM board: Among the outstanding attributes of this composition, the committee particularly noted:
  • its lovely, gentle melody;
  • the careful balance between traditional diatonic harmonies and “color” chords/notes;
  • its judicious use of key, tempi, and rhythmic figures to illumine the character changes of the text;
  • its sensibly smooth voice-leading and idiomatic piano writing;
  • the beauty of the poetry, and its focus on Christ and the cross;
  • the usefulness of this piece for many seasons and occasions, including (and especially) Lent; and
  • its accessibility to choirs of varying sizes and abilities.

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