Reviewed in The Living Church Spring 2008 Music Issue
This is a large volume of anthems and responses. Most are for SATB, but, thankfully,
some are for two or three part choir or soloist. The music is mainly of one style, contemporary in tone without being cloying
or insulting. The texts are drawn from The Book of Common Prayer orwritten by respected theologians. In otherwords, one can
update the sound of the choirwithout sacrificing musical or theological integrity. The works I found most attractive were
Mr. Bayley’s arrangements of Irish and Welsh tunes. Mr. Bayley has a talent for supporting the beauty of an existing
tune with complementary text and accompaniment.
Hymns and Songs of the Celtic Spirit
Reviewed in The Living Church Fall 2008 Music Issue
Hymnbooks and compilations that are truly new seem impossible
to come by. Most are just a reording or resetting of hymnals of the past. While 101 Hymns and Songs
of the Celtic Spirit is not a proper hymnal per se, Songs of the Celtic Spirit is rather
a supplemental songbook, a remarkable segment of its content is fresh and original.
There are selections that George
Bayley has written for congregations he has served and found that they work well in a parish setting. Celtic themes
of community, hospitality, nature, justice, and peasce are emphasized throughout, and the tunes are singable. This is
another good resource for broadening the musical palate of any parish.