God has chosen me

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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Vox Americana
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God has chosen me

Post by Vox Americana » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:21 pm

God has chosen me. I hadn't heard it like this. Crank up the sound and hit the play button. :shock:
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presbyter
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by presbyter » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:28 pm

LOL! Well, it must be an official arrangement - it's on the OCP site. Go on Vox, log in a give it a rating. :)

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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Psalm Project » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:47 pm

Wow!
I used this only quite recently with one of my better soprano cantors - crystal clear and slow and very focussed.
Very moving for our congregation...

This version is beautiful! I've listened to it several times and CRANKED UP THE SOUND... an eye-opener!
Oh to have the resources and voices to achieve this! Evokes memories of Shackatak and Bagatelle of the 80's (re piano riffs)

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musicus
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by musicus » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:20 pm

Oh yes! Very good. What a great arrangement: very free and even changing the harmonies. More Spring Harvest than Radio 2, and all the better for it.

That's an interesting web site too; I must take a closer look.
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Southern Comfort
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Southern Comfort » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:42 pm

Interesting, and valid if you're celebrating in that kind of context. I must say I still prefer the clean lines and harmonies of the original which, by the way, works extraordinarily well with schoolchildren if you haven't tried it.

Also interesting that the Spirit and Song website does not mention the name of the author/composer, nor give any copyright notice against the text. Perhaps they got so carried away with the music that they forgot....

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Nick Baty
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:00 pm

I'm afraid I can't agree with Musicus or Psalm Project – I think it's pretty grim. I remember using some of Bernadette's stuff on Songs of Praise and she was adamant that every bit of syncopation should be exactly as she wrote it. And quite right too. Of course there's a huge OT debate here about how far arrangers can go. But I do remember one - who had better remain nameless – removing all the F sharps from the first eight bars of Haugen's Gather Us In and completely wrecking the piece. The majority of the viewing audience had never heard it before – and, given the cold-sounding arrangement – I suspect they'll never want to hear it again.

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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Psalm Project » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:13 am

Nick - you need to get out more :lol:
Having a definite preference for its original form, I was very pleasantly surprised by this version.
Sometimes, it is good to hear things from a different perspective - this being a case in point.
I've written pieces which, in the hands and varying capabilities of others, have potentially died a painful death!
Go listen again (at least three times!!!) - put on good headphones - you will warm to it unless you are made of ice. For me, it in no way changes my feelings for the original - I will still render it in its original form.
The issue about copyright is interesting.

By the way - I got that book you suggested (second-hand on amazon - a collectible in hardback signed by the author! - the one about the nuns and the earplugs! see previous thread!) - only just started to read it - - - looks 'interesting' already!

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Nick Baty
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:33 am

Psalm Project wrote:Sometimes, it is good to hear things from a different perspective
And sometimes it's best to ignore inferior adaptations. I find it painful to listen to. Why omit the final phrase of each verse? Sounds like a not very good imitation of late 70s gay/soul disco. (Let's be honest, it's not quite Donna Summer – if it were I'd slip into me 501s and rub myself down with a tan towel and boogie the night away under the nearest glitterball.) Absolutely and totally yukky! I could listen to it 1,000 times and would simply grow to hate it even more. Absolutely foul. Zero marks. Fail. Bottom of class. Could do better.

I have a friend who can't stand Judy Garland – yes, I know that sounds impossible. It doesn't matter how often I make her listen to Zing! went the strings of my heart – she still vomits into the nearest receptacle.

Interesting that you know how often I get out and how often I listened to it! :D

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musicus
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by musicus » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:38 am

Nick Baty wrote:Absolutely and totally yukky! I could listen to it 1,000 times and would simply grow to hate it even more. Absolutely foul. Zero marks. Fail. Bottom of class. Could do better.

So you don't like it, then? :) Perhaps you're right. It does play fast and loose with the original: I did notice the missing final phrases and the total lack of copyright notices. Maybe the web site is OCP's naughty teenage sibling, a pirate DJ to its BBC?

I'll stop now, before I get too confused.
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Nick Baty
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:48 am

No. Not too keen.

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Re: God has chosen me

Post by NorthernTenor » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:14 am

I've just listened to them both. Where is the emoticon for a raising of the eyebrows?
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mcb
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by mcb » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:20 am

I like it. It's not a million miles away from the original - by the time we got to verse three I wanted the vocal harmonies from the original, which would have worked nicely. As SC says, this version would be right in the appropriate context.

I rather liked the keyboard solo in the middle eight - Rick Wakeman, circa 1977. :-)

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Benevenio
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Benevenio » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:33 am

musicus wrote:…teenage sibling
It would appear that is the age group that the site is aimed towards. Good for them. I'll have to ask my own teenagers what they think - mind you, they think that the Punk Priest is pretty cool, and I get asked, every time we're asked to play I the Lord of Sea and Sky, if we can do it in this style.

Nick, you'll not like this arrangement either, then, I guess. or this.

I guess it is the Jazzman hidden within me that actually likes the playing fast and loose with any tune, rhythm, melody, harmony and occasionally lyrics , making each "performance" a new springboard to leap into the unknown and so I really don't mind these arrangements. Whether I'd choose to use any liturgically, I am unsure.

Couldn't find any Bach on the site... I suspect that there are those who hate what Ward Swingle did with Bach too. New arrangements of things that we've come to love as they are brings the music to a new audience and that can only be good, surely; didn't Christ meet the people were they were, as well as calling them to himself?
Benevenio.

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Nick Baty
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:54 am

Benevenio wrote:Nick, you'll not like this arrangement

Absolutely. Makes you wonder why the composer bothered writing down all those blobs in the first place.

Benevenio wrote:or this.

Not quite as bad. Sounds as though she can read music slightly but still made me want to dance The Funky Gibbon.

And there was me, worried last weekend because I'd transposed Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring down to Eb (because several of our ladies are on 60 Capstan Full Strength a day) and accompanied it on synth and mellotron.

Don't feel the same about Swingle (we did one of his Bach Bourreés at Summer School 2005) and Louisier – they sound as though they might have read the score first.

These Spirit and Song arrangements just sound so old-fashioned.
Last edited by Nick Baty on Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Southern Comfort
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Re: God has chosen me

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:00 am

Benevenio wrote:Nick, you'll not like this arrangement either, then, I guess. or this.


Well, I think the second of these, Bread for the world, is pretty close to the original, and done reasonably "straight", apart from the rhythm of the final phrase of the refrain.

However, O God, you search me and you know me, like God has chosen me, suffers from several major failings:
(a) the soloist is obviously incapable of singing the melody as originally written ─ e.g. the second phrase of O God, you search me;
(b) these two arrangements are simply not designed for participation by the assembly. They are solo arrangements, with all the freedom of expression, rubato and range of emotion that a soloist can bring but a congregation can't, to be listened to but not to sing along with.

I suspect that all three of them have produced with an eye to the annual Christian Music recording awards that are given each year in North America, rather than to actual liturgical use, but that may be unduly cynical.

Certainly the arrangements are, I feel, self-indulgent, over-dressed, and somewhat reminiscent, in their chosen idiom, of the flatulent arrangements that are such a common feature of Songs of Praise these days. That awful neo-Rhodes piano sound in O God, you search me should have been vetoed at the start!

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