A pensive interpretation of the hymn “Who Trusts in God a Strong Abode” including an all new melody by Timothy Shaw for two-part equal voices, organ or piano, and with an optional solo. This is the hymn of the day for Trinity 23 and is appropriate for services themed around trust and God’s providence.
Choirs ready to begin exploring more adventuresome music can use Who Trusts In God as an effective first step out of purely diatonic music. The atmospheric accompaniment shifts around suggesting tonal centers without observing strict common practice tonality. The vocal lines are tuneful and easy to absorb. Meter shifts frequently, but again the rhythm is comfortable. To lighten the demands on the full choir, an extensive middle section can be sung by a soloist. The opening material returns after this with only minor alterations, creating a balanced ternary form. This attractive, interesting piece is an excellent way to introduce a broader tonal palette to choirs. (Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, May/June 2015)
Since the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is coming in 2017, many choirs will surely want to perform not only classic Lutheran chorales, hymnody, and various choral music from the early days of Lutheranism but also new settings of these great texts. Shaw has taken the sturdy words of a 16th-century hymn and given them a fresh new melodic treatment. (CrossAccent, vol. 23/1)
Although equal voices are called for, part two has a low tessitura, which could be sung by the men’s voices. There is an extended faster section for a solo voice before the opening theme returns. The keyboard part is not difficult, but interesting, giving the music a haunting quality. Highly recommended. (The Diapason, June 2016)