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Breath of Heaven
Artist: David Fitzgerald
Label: ICC Records
After having been involved in the Christian music industry for almost 25 years I find that I don't look to the latest praise and worship release with any anticipation at all. If I want to hear praise music then I go to Church on Sunday morning. When I go to see a concert, I go to hear people that I admire utilizing the gift that God has given them. I realize that this is very cynical but that's just my opinion. David Fitzgerald on the other hand is a completely different ball game altogether. His albums bring me to places of worship and delight that only Iona has done before. Gee, what an odd coincidence. In the western mind set, if we sing enough choruses and jump around enough then maybe God will come down and bless the service. In the Eastern Orthodox church, somehow through the liturgy and the Eucharist, we are transported to take part in the worship that is continually taking place in the heavenly realm. David Fitzgerald's music lays me before the throne of God and I have no choice to do but worship an awesome Creator and thank him for the gift of music that he has blessed this man with.
As for the album "Breath of Heaven" it is a sheer delight to listen to over and over again. David has once again collaborated with Tim Oliver and the end result is in my opinion one of the greatest listening experiences that I have had in many a long year. Most of the songs on the project were written by others but were arranged by Mr. Fitzgerald and he has made them his own. Sitting and writing this review while listening to the album I feel such a sense of peace and wonder that I am completely content and for me that is a wonder. David has assembled his usual cast of characters, Besides Tim Oliver we get to here Teryl Bryant, Frank Van Essen, Tim Harries, Dave Clifton, and many other fine artists from the British Isles. When I here music like this, it makes me proud to have some small part in letting people know about it. The music itself is all instrumental and very ethereal, somewhat similar to some of the passages from The Book of Kells. The playing is very tight but at the same time easy and flowing, almost as if you were in a boat floating down stream on a nice peaceful day. Now if we could only get him over to the states for a tour I would be totally happy.
Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock 12/18/2001
This latest release from Fitzgerald sees him making a departure from the liturgical feel of his more recent work and exploring pieces by a number of other writers. His playing remains exquisite, continuing to demonstrate him as one of the premier woodwind players in the world of Christian music and the selection of songs will please many as he brings together a selection of hymns with works by Graham Kendrick, Chris Eaton, his former Iona bandmate Joanne Hogg and others. While the overall result is pleasing musically, the arrangements feel a little bland after the musical experiments of Lux Aeterna, lacking the stark contrasts which marked some of that album's finer moments and sitting closer to the middle of the road. Relaxing and still possessing of a quiet beauty, this is a good album but not all we might hope for from Fitzgerald.
James Stewart 01/07/2002