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How Can I Do Anything but Love Him? The second “Gratitude Project” installment.

Oct 23, 2015

I know that he died that I might be forgiven my follies, my sins, and be cleansed from them. How wonderful is this love. How can I, knowing this, do anything else but love him, my Redeemer?”

Joseph Fielding Smith

On the long list of things for which I am grateful, the Savior is at the top. I owe everything I am and will ever be to Him, so how can I do anything but love Him? When I read the quote above, the last sentence just sang to me, and wouldn’t leave me alone until I had set it to music. The result was “How Can I Do Anything but Love Him?” for solo voice, with optional violins.

The next song is a favorite from The Messiah: “He Shall Feed His Flock/Come Unto Him,” for SATB choir, and for solo voice.

I felt a bit cheeky arranging this. Handel was a master: I am an amateur. This song needs no arranging when performed well and accompanied by a skilled orchestra. I don’t own an orchestra, so I wanted a piano accompaniment that was less… well, boring… than the traditional reduction. I also wanted a choral setting. So I tried my hand at it and here’s the result, in the solo version since I don’t own a choir either: 😉

The obbligatos on these new tracks were played by the beautiful and talented Jana Hanni. Jana is not only a skilled violinist, she’s the kindergarten teacher I’d want for my grandkids, and just a wonderful person. She studied at Utah State University, and (fortunately for me!) she now lives in Colorado with her husband Jeff and their four children.

The last addition for today is an updated version of “My Grateful Spirit Sings.” For me, one of the trickiest parts of notation is knowing what rhythms to write into a vocal line, especially when I work with a soloist like James, who has the art of rubato pretty much perfected. The original score was way too stiff for my liking, so I loosened it up a little, and gave it a new accompaniment:

The scores and recordings for these are free on each song page. If you prefer, you can buy the higher bitrate files from Apple Music, Amazon or CDBaby. You can also get the physical CD here, for $2.50 through the end of November.

Next (and last!) installment: Gratitude gets you through the tough times. 🙂

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Handy info…