The timing of the composition of this piece is interesting. I actually arranged the first verse to it eight years ago. Because it was in the early days of my compositions I was still learning a lot. I like that I started it in the key of C because of the simpleness. I don’t think I would have done that today. Yet, it works because of the beautifully haunting sounds.
At the same time, I think it was good I finished it this year because of my experience. I was able to polish up the first verse and create a nice full sound for the second verse. Everything happens for a reason right? 🙂 I just feel grateful it happened that way.
I have always loved the Mormon Tabernacle Choir version of this song and I really wanted a piano arrangement. At the time I started arranging it, I couldn’t find one. Now there are a few but I’m grateful I was able to get my own spin on it. I hope this is an enjoyable arrangement for you piano players!
For many months this song was my 2 year old (now 3 year old)’s request every night before bed. I felt inspired to write a piano arrangement in dedication to her. So Talia, here you go! Mommy loves you despite the buttons of mine you push 🙂 I have learned that the more I act like Christ would with you, the kinder you are. Truly following in the Savior’s steps makes everyone around us happier.
I think this is the longest it has ever taken me to complete a song but it was worth it! There are a two points of interest I have in this song:
1. A while back I had a composing tip post called Play it Backwards. This is the song where playing it backwards worked. If you go to the Hymn book and play the last measure or 2 of this song backwards, then listen to my intro you’ll hear the similarity.
2. I love how the third verse of this song says that we are laboring for “Jesus the Crucified.” I slowed down this part of the music on the third verse to really emphasize the importance of this truth. When I think of the lyrics and play this part I get teary eyed. (the note that is held out in measure 65-66 could be shortened a little, just saying if you want to try that–I have it the way it is for the beat sake)
I’m very excited about this one because it is the first duet I’ve written! It took a while to write but I’m really happy with the result. My favorite thing about this song is that it is simple but beautiful. It is easy enough for about an intermediate student to play with a peer or a teacher.
Remember to play it with emotion, without it, the song doesn’t sound nearly as good. Enjoy!
I just love bold hymns and this is one I’ve wanted to do a choral arrangement for a long time now. I felt like I chose to write this song at a good time because it was one of those songs I just sat down and wrote it all out within a little over a week. I never had any “stumped” moments, which was so nice!
I wrote a piano solo for this song (below) as well. I recorded myself playing that. It is almost the same as the choir version so you can get a feel for the song.
As I said above, I took my choir version and made a piano solo out of it. Because I wanted it to sound a lot like the choir piece, it isn’t my best piano arrangement. I promise you will love the transitions though, I get addicted to playing them!
This is a fun story. I wrote about 2/3rds of this arrangement my junior year of high school. I finished it up a few years ago. When I started my website I got in contact with Susan Evans McCloud, the lyricist. We went back and forth e-mailing, trying to get permission from the music writer, K. Newell Dayley, who was on a mission. Sister McCloud was finally able to get a hold of him after months of waiting. Sister McCloud was so helpful and, in a grueling world of trying to contact composers for permissions, I was so appreciative!
I was especially touched by this song when I listened to how it was written. If you have a few minutes, give this a listen to. It is narrated by Sister McCloud herself!
I will let my Nov 1, 2008 entry from my family blog tell why I arranged this song:
“Here’s an arrangement I did of the song Beautiful Savior. My mom told me last year that my Pop-pop (mom’s dad) got teary eyed when he heard it at one of my sibling’s baptism. I guess he knew that song from when he was younger. Sorry if any of those facts are wrong but that’s what I remember my mom telling me. So, I arranged it for my Pop-pop.”
This is my favorite arrangement. Whenever I perform this people later tell me how they felt the spirit while I performed it. That is the best compliment I could ever get because it tells me I was inspired. Feel free to play measures 48-50 over and over again. They are the best part. Enjoy!
I honestly can’t remember if I arranged this song at the end of high school or early college. Probably college. I do love this song and had to pay a little fee to get permission to post it but that was worth it!
With this arrangement I really tried to make the piano sound like the lyrics. After performing this once in church, a guy came up to me and said something like, “I opened the hymn book to read the lyrics when you started playing and the music matched the words.” I was touched to see that he noticed my effort in that area because the lyrics are very powerful. Probably what made this arrangement powerful too. Enjoy: