For any who are unfamiliar with Glenda Austin’s work, she is a prolific composer and superb arranger from Missouri USA, whose work is published by the Willis Music Company, distributed by Hal Leonard.
With vast experience as a church musician, Austin has been making arrangements of classic hymns and worship songs since she was a teenager playing in a small Baptist church. Today, she continues to play for the United Methodist Church in her hometown, Joplin.
Austin’s Solos for the Sanctuary series launched with Hymns and a Christmas collection more than a decade ago. Aimed at “the Church Pianist”, these books delivered arrangements suitable for advanced players (around UK Grades 7-8) to include as musical interludes in services as appropriate.
Further collections soon appeared, becoming a popular strand of Austin’s output alongside her educational work. Spirituals (2011), Worship (2012), Gospel (2014) and Hymns 2 (2019) have now been joined by Seasons (2023), prompting this review looking back at the series.
One of the most extraordinarily popular and successful British composers of his generation, John Rutter’s choral works, anthems, hymns and carols are beloved the world over for their distinctive mix of French choral, English pastoral and American popular influences.
Rutter has enjoyed a long career at the pinnacle of the English choral world, from his appearance as a chorister in the first (1963) recording of Britten’s War Requiem (conducted by the composer himself), through his time at Cambridge and his numerous prestigious appointments and accomplishments up to the present day.
Now his Piano Collection: A Flower Remembered, brings together 8 of his best-loved choral pieces in new transcriptions for solo piano.
Appearing both as a 21-minute recording by Wayne Marshall (available on the usual streaming platforms and to purchase in MP3 format here), and as a sheet music publication from Rutter’s publishers OUP, the arrival of The John Rutter Piano Album is something of an event to truly cherish!