This book was another purchase I made with the gift card I received from a student after the spring term. Sadly, it's taken me until July to preview the book and post a review, but here it is at long last.
book of hymn arrangements by Melody Bober and literally fell in love with every one of the songs in the book. The settings were refreshingly original, and different enough that I didn't feel like I was playing a rehash of the same roadmap for every piece. Unfortunately, I misplaced the book, so when I was searching for books to add to my order, another Melody Bober collection seemed a good choice. The title of the book alone, "A Call to Prayer: 10 Arrangements of Hymns that Speak to the Heart", was enough to pique my interest. As a rule, I tend to be more interested in quieter, more introspective arrangements, and this sounded like it would fit the bill.
I did an initial run-through of the book last week, and have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with most of the arrangements. Feeling a little bit frustrated, I laid the book aside and decided to wait a bit before I picked it back up and gave it a second run-through.
This afternoon I was able to re-visit the book for at least a partial re-play of each arrangement, and I'm glad that I did. A second shot left me with a much more positive opinion of this collection, though it still doesn't rank among my top favorites. While I still see some of the arrangements as either too simplistic, predictable, flashy in spots, or modern for my tastes, there were a few selections that are quite nice. I loved how the arrangement of Be Still My Soul/It Is Well With My Soul ended by blending both hymns together, I like the slightly syncopated feel of He Leadeth Me, Just As I Am is simply and gorgeously arranged, and the hint of jazz found in the final arrangement What a Friend We Have in Jesus is pure fun to play.
Overall, while still not completely thrilled with my purchase, I can see that this book will afford many nice arrangements for upcoming church services. Has anyone else puchased/previewed this book? What were your opinions?