22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent performance, if with specialist appeal, 26 Jun. 2003
I can imagine how this recording would have limited appeal, even within a series with a specialist audience. In Australia at any rate the singing of traditional children's hymns has long since fallen out of favour. Indeed, traditional hymns, that is, 19th century Protestant hymns, have become decidedly unpopular as trendy clerics have replaced them with tuneless but rhythmic songs with 'youth appeal' in a vain bid to halt the rapid decline in church attendances.
My generation – now middle-aged -- is probably the last (in Australia) raised on children's hymns, those staples of the morning service (second hymn) and Sunday School. And highly popular they were in the past. I still have the book I used as the Sunday School pianist – "The School Hymn Book of the Methodist Church", published by the Methodist Youth Department, London, in 1950. In some 800 pages it has 650 hymns (many of course, also in the Methodist Hymn Book) suitable for children, a rather astonishing number. Probably less than 50 of these were regularly sung.
This recording is a magnificent tribute to these forgotten pieces. The arrangements are traditional and well-sung with no unnecessary ornamentation (sometimes added by modern hymn arrangements in the mistaken belief this improves the performance).
This recording will appeal to anyone who enjoys hymns, as I do, as a secular musical experience, or has a sentimental attachment to these lost treasures.