Lutheran Book Review Quick Summaries for October 2016: Piano Hymns and Organ Intonations

Tate, Paul A. Seasons of Grace, Volume 1. Chicago: GIA, 2004. Sheet music: $20.95. Audio CD: $16.95.

Tate, Paul A. Seasons of Grace, Volume 2. Chicago: GIA, 2006. Sheet music: $17.95. Audio CD: $16.95.

Tate, Paul A. Seasons of Grace, Volume 3. Chicago: GIA, 2009. Sheet music: $20.95. Audio CD: $16.95.

Tate, Paul A. Seasons of Grace, Volume 4. Chicago: GIA, 2011. Sheet music: $21.95. Audio CD: $16.95.

Tate, Paul A. Seasons of Grace, Volume 6. Chicago: GIA, 2015. Sheet music: $21.95. Audio CD: $16.95.

Giomo, Carla. Hymn Intonations for Organ. Chicago: GIA, 2014. 16 Pages. Sheet Music. $15.00.

De Silva, Chris. Colours. Chicago: GIA, 2016. Audio CD. $16.95.

Back in 2014, we reviewed an unsolicited review copy of a CD of hymn arrangements for piano:

+ Paul A. Tate's Seasons of Grace, Volume 5 is a great resource for church musicians either as the CD or as the piano solo sheet music. Building on well-known Christian hymn tunes as diverse as those known for "In the Garden" and "Hail, Holy Queen," this collection is usable by Lutheran musicians. Consider this a collection to be used when the tunes of good hymn texts show up on Sunday morning and other times of worship. Use without fear beautiful melodies now divorced from their problematic, even unBiblical texts. I can't wait to hear Volume 6, and Volumes 1-4 and listen to such creatively beautiful piano music while following along in the solo books. I will also be sharing this with our church musicians yet this weekend. Recommended!

We loved it!

Now we have our chance to share and comment on those five Seasons of Grace collections (CD and piano sheet music sets), a collection of organ intonations, and a bonus recording by Chris de Silva, Colours.

A 2004 release, this is the recording and sheet music that began this series.

GIA is proud to welcome composer Paul Tate to our roster of artists with this beautiful collection of thirteen arrangements for solo piano. Those who are familiar with Paul’s liturgical compositions are well acquainted with his lush, frequently surprising harmonies and well-crafted arrangements.

As the title implies, Seasons of Grace spans the liturgical year, featuring some new songs composed by Paul, as well as fresh arrangements of beloved hymn tunes and some GIA favorites. For Advent and Christmas, Paul includes gems such as Dan Kantor’s “Ave Maria.” Songs like the Passion Chorale “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” stir the soul during the holy seasons of Lent and Easter. The collection is rounded out with a wonderful selection of tunes for Ordinary Time.

The recording is ideal for quiet listening, reflection, and meditation. The music book is a must-have for every church pianist, featuring arrangements that are interesting, accessible, and simply lovely. (Publisher's website)
Remember, Volume 5 was my first introduction to this artist and arranger. Volume 1 still proves itself worthy of sequels and has much music that would help pianists with preludes, offertories, and postludes in congregations with Lutheran Service Book. See my annotations in [ ] below and throughout this review.

Listen to Tracks :

Morning Songs [LSB 507, 789]

A Shepherd's Medley [LSB 711]

Spirit Blowing Through Creation 

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing [LSB 848, 849]

Interlude No.1

You've Searched Me

What You Have Done For Me

You Are Strong, You Are Holy

Ave Maria [not recommended for Lutheran use]

Interlude No. 2

Holy God, We Praise Thy Name [LSB 940]

You Are Mine

Oh Sacred Head Surrounded [LSB 449, 450, 456]

As you listen to these tracks, turn to the hymn tunes in Lutheran Service Book. I'll reserve more comments for after Volume 6's information.

Seasons of Grace - Volume 2

by Paul A. Tate

Arranger : Paul A. Tate

Arr. © 2006 GIA. Individual copyrights may apply.

12 more sacred piano solos for various uses; most are medium difficulty.

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus [LSB 700, 821, 851, 860, 632, 775, 791, 805, 923] - A Place at the Table (with Fresh as the Morning) - Advent Suite (Creator fo the Stars of Night; My Soul in Stillness Waits; O Come, O Come, Emmanuel) [LSB 351, 882, 357] - Discipleship Medley (Take, O Take Me As I Am; The Summons) - Interlude No. 3 - Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence [LSB 621] - Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee [LSB 477, 803] - Eucharistic Suite (Pange lingua gloriosi; Tantum ergo; At That First Eucharist) [LSB 331, 651, 814] - Interlude Nol. 4 - We Arise (with For the Beauty of the Earth) [LSB 397]- Deep Within (with If You Love Me) - All Are Welcome (with Come, Christians, Join to Sing)

This anticipated second volume of piano solos by Paul Tate provides the intermediate player with excellent arrangements of traditional and contemporary music; several medleys are included. Recorded on CD-687.

Number of Pages : 48

Difficulty Level: M

Accomp : Piano

Seasons of Grace - Volume 3

by Paul A. Tate

Arranger : Paul A. Tate

Arr. © 2009 GIA. Individual copyrights may apply.

Paul Tate delights us with another collection of piano reflections. As in the previous volumes, Seasons of Grace, Volume 3 features a mixture of chant melodies, traditional hymnody, and contemporary Catholic song medleys for Lent, Advent, and Christmas. This new volume includes well-crafted arrangements of some of the church’s most beloved hymns and songs such as “Be Not Afraid” and “Prayer of St. Francis” along with the music of David Haas, Marty Haugen, Rory Cooney, Liam Lawton, Tony Alonso, Lori True, Sr. Suzanne Toolan, and more! The arrangements in the printed collection are interesting and accessible, are moderately easy, and have only a few measures of more adventurous playing. Complete your set today!

Contents: To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King [LSB 525, 829]; And Jesus Said; Wondrous Love; The Cloud's Veil; Peace Prelude; We Are Called; Interlude No. 5; Blessed Virgin Mary Suite [not recommended for Lutheran use]; Rest Now In Me [LSB 749]; I Am the Bread of Life; Interlude No. 6; Christmas Suite [LSB 368, 363]; Lenten Suite; How Can We Be Silent

This anticipated third volume of piano solos by Paul Tate provides the intermediate player with excellent arrangements of traditional and contemporary music; several medleys are included. Recorded on CD-796.

Number of Pages : 56

Difficulty Level: M

Accomp : Piano

Comments : This anticipated third volume of piano solos by Paul Tate provides excellent arrangements of traditional and contemporary music.

Click each track to listen.

5. Peace Prelude

8. Blessed Virgin Mary Suite

9. Rest Now in Me
One notes occasional Marian hymns. These can and should be avoided by the Lutheran pianist. 

Seasons of Grace - Volume 4

by Paul A. Tate

Arranger : Paul A. Tate

Arr. © 2011 GIA. Individual copyrights may apply.

Paul Tate delights us with another collection of solo piano reflections. As in the previous volumes, Seasons of Grace, Volume 4 features a mixture of chant melodies, traditional hymnody, and contemporary Catholic song medleys.

This volume includes the perennially popular “Here I Am, Lord” and “On Eagles Wings” along with classic hymn tunes such as adoro te devote and londonderry air.

In this collection you’ll find intermediate level arrangments, similar to the first three volumes of this fantastic series.

Complete your set today!

Number of Pages : 56

Difficulty Level: M/D

Accomp : Piano
LSB tunes include:
HOLY MANNA: LSB 540, 584, 782

Volume 4 probably has the least number of tunes in LSB of all the Tate's volumes thus far, but they are used no less than seven times.

For the sake of completeness, I'm giving Volume 5 the same treatment:

Seasons of Grace—Volume 5

by Paul A. Tate


Seasons of Grace, Volume 5 features fourteen more intermediate level arrangements for the liturgical pianist. As with previous volumes of the series, Tate delights us with his take on many traditional hymns (including the lilting slane as well as an exciting multi-metric arrangement of "I Sing The Mighty Power of God"), chant melodies (such as in paradisum, beautifully paired with funeral songs by Liam Lawton and David Haas), seasonal pieces (such as a medley of Polish Christmas carols), and even a suite of Gospel favorites (including "In The Garden," "There Is Power In The Blood," and "Blessed Assurance"). Also featured are original tunes by Tate, including "Open Our Eyes, O Lord, We Pray" and two flexible interludes for those moments when you need a short, last minute instrumental piece during the liturgy. If you like the music of Jim Brickman, George Winston, and Jeanne Cotter, you will want to include Seasons of Grace Volume 5 in your CD and piano book collection today.

LSB tunes include:


Seasons of Grace - Volume 6

by Paul A. Tate

Arranger : Paul A. Tate

© 2015 GIA. Individual copyrights may apply.

Paul Tate is back with this collection of newly arranged piano solos of more of your favorite hymns and songs. This time Paul arranges some popular contemporary classics, including David Haas’s “Blest Are They,” Michael Joncas’s “Come to Me,” and Marty Haugen’s “Canticle of the Sun.” Two of Lori True’s most beautiful pieces are here, too (“Quietly, Peacefully” and “Peace, Be Not Anxious”), along with a harmonically adventurous setting of “Amazing Grace” and the dark and powerful “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Also included are two newly composed interludes of flexible length in contrasting styles and meters. As with the previous five volumes, Seasons of Grace, Volume 6 is for intermediate players, with just a few passages requiring more advanced technique. The companion CD is not only a great listening experience, but may also be a terrific tool for beginners to have as they follow along with the score and learn to play these pieces. (See page 92 for complete contents of this collection as well as Volumes 1–5.)

Contents: Rejoice, Ye Pure In Heart [LSB 813]; Softly and Tenderly; How Firm a Foundation [LSB 728]; When I Survey the Wondrous Cross [LSB 425]; Quietly, Peacefully; Interlude No. 11; Blest Are They [LSB electronic and accompaniment editions]; Come to Me; Peace, Be Not Anxious; Interlude No. 12; This Is My Father's World [LSB 856]; O Holy Night [LSB 378]; Canticle of the Sun; Amazing Grace [LSB 744]
Number of Pages : 64

Difficulty Level: M

Accomp : Piano

In summary, I would say the Moderate difficulty rating is fair. Most are beyond my personal ability, but there are some arrangements that are more easy and more difficult. M is an average rating for each book overall.

I appreciate the variety of left hand treatments, the fresh chord progressions, and the occasional surprise that draws the listener in. The recordings are very effective in that regard and competent live playing off these pieces can only be more so.

Highly recommended.

Paul A. Tate, a graduate of the University of Georgia, is a professional musician living in Sugar Hill, Georgia. As an active workshop presenter and concert performer, Paul has released a dozen recordings and published over 100 original songs and arrangements. His liturgical compositions appear in a number of hymnal resources, and his voice has been heard around the world on Sirius Satellite Radio. (Publisher's website)

Our congregational organ and piano are back to back. So are our reviews of piano and organ music.

Hymn Intonations

by Carla J. Giomo

Arranger : Carla J. Giomo

Arr. © 2014 GIA.

These 12 simple hymn intonations for organ can be used throughout the liturgical year. Whether you are looking for an instrumental piece for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Eastertide, or Ordinary Time, these little gems are just right for a brief prelude or postlude, or they can be played anywhere you need that “little something” to make a big impact. (Publisher's website)

Contents: AZMON [LSB 528, 697]; CWM RHONDDA [LSB 850, 918]; IN BABILONE [LSB 650, 842]; ITALIAN HYMN [864, 905]; NEW BRITAIN [LSB 744]; NOEL NOUVELET; NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN [LSB 332, 352]; PICARDY [LSB 621]; SLANE [738, 861]; STILLE NACHT [363]; VICTORY [LSB 464]; WONDROUS LOVE [LSB 543]

As before, I have added LSB hymn numbers to the details above to show how incredibly useful this affordable collection would be for congregations like mine.

I see these "intonations" as brief accessible music for the busy organist who may not always have time to work up a more major piece.


We return to the piano for solo piano music arranged by Chris De Silva.


Music for Solo Piano

by Chris de Silva


From composer and pianist Chris de Silva comes this stunning collection of exquisite music for solo piano. Fresh arrangements of beloved tunes evoke unexpected moments of beauty and grace. Original compositions reveal a depth of faith and a mastery of the keyboard in ways that give voice to all the colors of life. Let the recording lead you into deep personal prayer and meditation. Let the carefully crafted printed music be an invitation to share this music in your church as preludes and meditations throughout the liturgical year. This collection will pull you in from the first notes and carry you to the last.

Contents: Water • Comfort • Breath • Remembrance • Mercy • Offering • Joy • Winter • Silence • Spirit • Return • Jerusalem

(Publisher's website)

Sheet music is also available. We'd really like to take a look at that, and revisit this title, for we were unable to clearly name all of the "beloved tunes" arranged on this recording.  Tracks 4 and 11, Remembrance and Return were particularly puzzling until I read the liner notes: they are both original compositions.

As it is, we appreciated the recorded music during the evening of a long car trip. It was meaningful, comforting, reverent, and "colourful."

Consider purchasing some of these resources for the church musician in your life.

Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School and Immanuel Academy, a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Education Chairman and Editor of Lutheran Book Review. A graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Rev. Cain is a contributor to Lutheran Service Book, Lutheranism 101, the forthcoming LSB Hymnal Companion, and is the author of 5 Things You Can Do to Make Our Congregation a Caring Church. He has previously served Emmanuel, Green River, WY and Trinity, Morrill, NE. He is married to Ann and loves reading and listening to, composing, and making music.

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