A new CD: "With Songs of Praise"

by F. Ezinga

Congregational psalm singing is one of the precious legacies we have inherited from John Calvin. To commemorate this heritage, organist Frank Ezinga of the Canadian Reformed Church of Langley, British Columbia, has produced a CD of psalms from the Book of Praise sung by congregation and choir to organ and trumpet accompaniment.

Each psalm is introduced by a prelude played on a brand new pipe organ built just last year by Casavant Frères. The first four preludes are unique pieces in very diverse styles, written specifically for the inauguration of the organ by Denis Bédard, a French-Canadian composer of Huguenot ancestry.

Other composers featured on the recording include Jan Zwart (Ps 6), Jaap Zwart (Ps 26 and 92), and Cornelis de Wolf (Ps 32 and 68). The final four preludes are an interesting variety of improvisations by Frank Ezinga on Ps 20, 21, 122, and 72.

This CD is not just for those who enjoy organ music. In fact the musical accompaniment tastefully carries the voices and brings out the varying moods of the words being sung.

The tempo of the singing is brisk and steady. Especially enjoyable to listen to are the beautiful four-part harmonies sung by Laudate!, a young adults' choir of British Columbia's Fraser Valley.

The sound quality of the recording is very good, and the CD includes an attractive booklet with a variety of photographs and information about John Calvin, the music, the choir, the organist, and the organ, as well as the lyrics of the psalms.

This CD is sure to increase your appreciation for the psalms as we sing them in church every Sunday. You can listen to some sample tracks at www.churchmusic.ca.

Review by Rev J. Smith