Drawing on works for choir and organ out of Great Britain, Exalt combines this with two NLC commissions premiered over the past several years. Great Britain has an impressive, long-standing tradition of choir and organ music for the daily Evensong liturgies all across England, such as those offered at King’s College, Cambridge, and Westminster Cathedral, London. Some of the “Top 10” from this genre are included in this new recording, such as Stanford’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in A; Britten’s Te Deum; and Matthias’ Let the People Praise Thee, composed for the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana. Aaron David Miller, the organist featured on this new recording, is brilliant at the organ, bringing out a full range of effects, melting into one voice with the choir.
Exalt also features two commissions; the first, Great or Small, was written by emerging Canadian composer, Zachary Wadsworth. This new piece for choir and organ was premiered at the NLC’s concert in May 2014. The second commission is a multi-movement work by Daniel Kallman, entitled, Behold the All. Upon receiving the commission from the National Lutheran Choir, Kallman reached out to noted Lutheran minister, poet and lyricist, Herb Brokering. Shortly after their meeting, Herb became ill and passed away. Kallman later discovered that Brokering had composed an all new text for this commission, possibly the last set of writings of Brokering’s life. Kallman calls the text, “an extended and ecstatic outburst on the beauty and mystery of life, creation, faith and salvation,” and “a magnificent capstone to [Brokering’s] body of work and a gift to us all.”