James Altena on Church Music as Facilitating Worship
A few months ago, as associate editor for the classical music magazine Fanfare, I reviewed a CD of music for the services of Holy Communion and Morning and Evening Prayer at an Anglican cathedral in England. While it includes a few traditional hymns and works by Thomas Tallis and Henry Purcell, most of the contents are given over to premiere recordings of compositions by several contemporary British church composers, including the cathedral's current choirmaster. The performances are exemplary; the recorded sound likewise. Yet, the compositions themselves bother me. While all of them are cast ostensibly in tonal or neo-tonal idioms, and are well crafted in purely technical terms, their thematic and . . .
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
James A. Altena is the associate editor of Fanfare magazine, a comprehensive bimonthly periodical for reviews of classical music recordings. He is a member of St. Mark's Reformed Episcopal Church in Rydal, Pennsylvania, and is working toward a Ph.D. in church history at Westminster Theological Seminary.
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
more on music from the online archives
• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives