Rest Assured: Hymns On Piano
was pianist/composer Janice Faber’s debut CD, and is a gently soothing collection of eleven traditional hymns and praise songs enhanced with some of Faber’s original music. It was originally released several years ago when Faber’s three children were quite small. She and her husband used the music for rocking them to sleep as well as for their own relaxation at the end of a long day. People requested more of this music and shared stories of how the music comforted them in difficult times. Faber has been a church pianist since she was a child, so this music is a very big part of her life, giving her the ability to express meaning in the music that goes far beyond the scope of the lyrics. Her approach to the music on this album is one of soothing comfort and reassurance. Her touch is gentle yet strong and confident, making this a recording that anyone can enjoy simply for the beauty of the music whether or not they are drawn to the hymns themselves. For anyone who enjoys solo piano hymns, this album is a must-have, as is the follow-up Measures of Grace
(2009). On both albums, some of the hymns are familiar classics while others are less well-known, making for a richly rewarding listening experience.
begins with “Day By Day,” a gorgeous hymn played with grace and sensitivity - a lovely start. “Blessed Assurance” is one of the best-known hymns, yet Faber makes it her own. Her flowing left hand brings out the best of the melody and fills it with warmth. “Jesus Love The Little Children” and “Jesus Loves Me” are two of my favorite hymns from childhood Sunday School, and Faber’s medley is gentle, innocent, and very sincere. I’m always fascinated by all of the different interpretations of “Amazing Grace,” and Faber’s is one of the most beautiful solo piano arrangements I’ve heard - quiet and gently flowing. “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us” has an elegant flow and a deep emotional connection that really comes through - beautiful! “How Great Thou Art” is another classic hymn, given a fresh and contemporary make-over that is true to the original melody and spirit of the piece. One of my favorites is “Gentle Shepherd,” a hymn I was not familiar with. The melody is simple and heartfelt, and Faber’s arrangement is wonderful. “Near To The Heart of God” is the closing hymn, ending this excellent CD on a quiet, thoughtful note.
is a beautiful album from the first note to the last. Be sure to check it out at janicefaberpiano.com
, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. I very highly recommend it!