“Beautiful Savior”

It’s been a tradition for years in our home to isten to the St Olaf’s choirs Christmas concert on PBS (my Wonder Woman’s parent were alums, so it added a special lil something when we first began watching–long story). A highlight of the concert has always been the performance of “Beautiful Savor”. The performance embedded here is not by a St Olaf’s group. It’s an (as yet) unidentified all male chorus singing altered lyrics I’d not heard before. (See my note after the jump if you want).

I prefer older lyrics. The ones sung in the performance above sound as though they were from a Methodist rewrite or something. ๐Ÿ™‚ From a Lutheran hymnal we happen to have handy,

“Beautiful Savior”
by Author Unknown, 1677
Translated by Joseph A. Seiss, 1823-1904

Beautiful Savior,
King of Creation,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’d love Thee,
Truly I’d serve Thee,
Light of my soul, my Joy, my Crown.

Fair are the meadows,
Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer;
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;
Jesus shines brighter,
Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels in the sky.

Beautiful Savior,
Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor,
Praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine!

Now, my inevitable commentary on the perforance. I love the sound of a well-blended male chorus. And I like the sound of this performance. But. Were I critiquing this performance for adjudication, the HUGE, glaring thing I’d score this group down for is its execreble vowels (For example, consistent “uh” sounds for “ah” tend to drag down the group’s tonality and dullen its sound) AND the inexcusable insertion of an articulated “H” on some elided vowels. *blech!* Not acceptable.


The piece itself is wonderful and covers a multitude of sins, and apart from some things that really blare in my ear but would be completely unnoticed by most, the group sings musically. I’ve heard amateur groups sound much better (WWN, you sang in one such, as you well recall! :-)), but such groups are rare and led to very hgh standards.

4 Replies to ““Beautiful Savior””

  1. Pingback: CatHouse Chat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *