Christianity Today has traditionally made a list of the year's top music, but those lists generally represent only the best in popular music. Now, for the first time, we've assembled a list of some of the year's best sacred music, primarily in the choral and classical genres. (Our list of the year's best popular music will post in January.)
We asked Jane Holstein, an editor with Hope Publishing Company and an arranger, choral clinician, organist, worship planner, and concert artist, to compile this list.
On the heels of last January's Heavensong, the eminent Mormon Tabernacle Choir released this collection of their most-requested songs on two CDs—plus a bonus CD/DVD with rarely seen or heard performances. This beautifully crafted compilation explodes with energy from the first track through the 32nd, with full orchestral accompaniments and the brilliance for which this chorus is known. Highlights include "How Great Thou Art," "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and Handel's "Hallelujah" from Messiah. New tracks include "Danny Boy," "Glorious Everlasting," and the crowd-pleasing Nigerian song "Betelehemu," complete with African drums, tambourines and shouts of joy. It's great listening, and for those seeking to trace the rich heritage of American sacred music, an essential resource. This 360-voice choir has performed for ten U.S. presidents, five presidential inaugurations, two presidential funerals, the American Bicentennial, and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, where they sang Call of the Champions under the direction of composer John Williams (included here).
Light & Gold (Decca)
This young American composer (he's 41) has ignited choral singing in high ...