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Album Review: Measures of Grace
Janice Faber
Cover image of the album Measures of Grace by Janice Faber
Measures of Grace
Janice Faber
2009 / Janice Faber
55 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Measures of Grace is the second collection of solo piano hymns arranged and performed by Janice Faber. Faber started playing the piano by ear at about six years of age, and went on to become her church’s pianist from about age ten on. Classically-trained, Faber graduated with honor from Wheaton College Conservatory. Half of the twelve tracks on this CD are medleys of two or three hymns and praise songs, for a total of nineteen songs. Faber adds some of her original music to the hymns as well as her interpretations of these timeless songs, creating a very soothing and personal album. Her arrangements have a classical sensibility with new age simplicity and directness - there isn’t a lot of flash in her playing, but none is necessary (or wanted!). Since Faber has been playing most of these songs for many years, they have become an intimate part of her life, allowing her to express much more than just familiar piano melodies. Whether or not you are familiar with these hymns, the music is gorgeous, heartfelt, and uplifting.

Measures of Grace begins with a beautiful and emotionally powerful arrangement of “It Is Well With My Soul.” Most of the left hand part has a lovely rubato flow that showcases the melodic right hand - an elegant and inviting beginning! “Be Thou My Vision” is a bit livelier and more joyous than I usually hear it, and I really like this arrangement! One of the highlights of the album is “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name,” a song I was not familiar with. Faber lets the melody sing with a flowing accompaniment, conveying deep, heartfelt emotions. The medley of “Take My Life and Let It Be” and “May the Mind of Christ My Savior” is a deeply-affecting pairing and another highlight. “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” has a warm and gentle energy that conveys joy and a strong sense of well-being. The combination of “I Need Thee Every Hour” and “Sweet Hour of Prayer” is also especially effective - very peaceful and thoughtful. “The Love of God” closes the album with a feeling of warm encouragement and reassurance. What an inspiring album!

Measures of Grace is gorgeous from start to finish, and I highly recommend it for the loveliness of the playing and the beauty of the music even more than for the fact that the music is hymns. Lovers of elegant solo piano will be delighted! If you are looking for a new collection of piano hymns, this is a must-have! It is available from www.janicefaberpiano.com, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes. Check it out!
January 9, 2010
This review has been tagged as:
Hymn Arrangements