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Help Needed: Toward A Discography of Conservative Christian Music

I’ve been asked to compile a fairly exhaustive discography of conservative Christian music for a conservative Christian radio station. What I have listed below is just a starting point, but I thought I’d survey the readers of this site for additional suggestions as I compile this list.

The station has asked for recordings of sacred music that are fairly accessible, but good and conservative – the kinds of things that might be heard in a church service, not necessarily sacred art music.

Please comment below or use the contact form above to send your suggestions.

Here’s what I have so far:

Alleluia Sing! – Coventry Music
Best Loved Hymns – EMI Classics
Classical Hymns – Green Hill Productions
Complete New England Hymnal, The – Priory Records
Crown Him! – Coventry Music
Elegant Strings – Brentwood
Faire Is the Heaven – Collegium Records
Favorite Hymns and Anthems – Gothic Records
For God and Country – SoundForth
Gloria! Music of Praise and Inspiration – Telarc
Hail, Gladdening Light – Collegium Records
Hymns for a Modern Reformation – The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
Hymns in Brass, Vols 1 & 2 – Sacred Music Services
Hymns of Worship from Europe and America – Mulfinger
John Rutter Collection, The – Decca
John Rutter: Gloria, and Other Sacred Music – Hyperion
John Rutter: Te Deum, and Other Church Music – Collegium Records
Joy of God, The – Marquis Music
Lost in Wonder, Love, and Praise – SoundForth
May Jesus Christ Be Praised – SoundForth
Music for Holy Week – EMI Classics
Music of the English Church – Collegium Records
New Music for the Church, Vol. 1 – Paul Jones Music
Old English Hymns – Greenhill Music
Our Great Savior – Sacred Music Services
Oxford Church Anthems – Nimbus Records
Praise God In His Sanctuary – Paul Jones Music
Proclaim His Birth – SoundForth
Psalms of the Trinity Psalter, Vols 1 & 2 – IPC Press
Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains – Hyperion
Sing Ye Choirs Exultant: Music of Carl Schalk – Morningstar Music
Sing, Ye Heavens: Hymns for All Time – Collegium
Sound His Praise – Sacred Music Services
Sun of My Soul – SoundForth
Vaughan Williams Hymnal, A – RCA
With Grateful Praise – SoundForth

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

16 Responses to Help Needed: Toward A Discography of Conservative Christian Music

  1. Non-Christmas, right?

    Many of the recordings you list, Scott, I already own. But here are a few additions:

    All Things Bright and Beautiful – Decca
    Alleluia: An American Hymnal – Nimbus
    Anything by Johann Sebastian Bach
    Beloved Swedish Psalm Melodies – BIS
    Choral Evensong – EMI Classics
    Faire is the Heaven – Naxos
    Hadyn: the Creation – I have Robert Shaw's recording on Telarc
    Hymns of Heaven and Earth – Dorian Recordings
    Psalms and Hymns – Koch Classics
    The Psalms of David (volumes 1, 2, and 3) – EMI Classics
    Simply Baroque II – Sony Classics
    Wesley, S. S.: Anthems – Naxos

  2. I don't have any specific suggestions, but I often listen to AbidingRadio.com, which has a fantastic selection. SacredAudio.com would be another resource. Can you tell us which radio station? There are few of this type around, so I am quite curious.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

    It's WCTS out of Minneapolis, a station owned and operated by Central Baptist Seminary.

    Chris, we're going for a little bit of a different content than Abiding Radio, more hymn-based/classic kinds of things.

  4. Thanks Scott,

    I think you actually mentioned the hymn/classic focus in the article, but somehow I overlooked it.

    WCTS is one of the better Christian radio ministries in the country. It would have been my first guess for existing stations, however I was hoping perhaps a new station with this focus was going on the air. I think we need more like WCTS.

    Chris

  5. How about some of the Hymnmakers series
    Here are some othe specific titles:
    **The World's Greatest Hymns-Brentwood (this is a compilation of hymns from choirs like St. Olaf, Coral Ridge, and London Philharmonic
    **Amazing Grace-Robert Shaw
    **Make a Joyful Noise-New World records (American Psalmody 1770-1840

  6. I see you have two St. Michael Singers albums on the list – I would recommend more of their recordings especially the series including
    Morning Gladness
    Daily Abundance
    Evening Blessing
    All by Coventry Music.
    While I wouldn't recommend everything at Coventry they do have some other nice things which might be found worthwhile.

  7. Two favorites at our house are "Hymns Triumphant" (classic hymns with choir and orchestra in medleys; disc 1 is excellent; singing on disc 2 is not as excellent but still good) and SoundForth's "Bright Canaan" (Southern folk hymns; mix of vocal/instrumental; traditional mountain instruments)

  8. I know people scoff at Fettke, but I would include Majesty & Glory and Majesty & Glory of the Resurrection (both Sparrow). I think these satisfy your original description well.

    From what I know of WCTS, I would think the albums above would be a pretty dramatic change. I think some simple, more familiar hymn collections might help soften the adjustment.

    These collections aren't Collegium, but they also aren't John W. Peterson (I don't think!):
    A Capella Hymns (vol 1 & 2) – Greentree
    Hymns For The Home (vol. 1 & 2) – SMS

    Also these are good:
    Classic Hymns – Summit
    The Best of Brass & Organ – Summit

    BTW is Religious Affections Radio gone? I could never get it to play in the past. I recently got a new computer, so I thought I would try again. I can't find any evidence that it still exists.

  9. Thanks, Michael.

    I'm not so thrilled with the choral quality of the Fettke albums, but I agree they're better than a lot of stuff.

    Yes, unfortunately Religious Affections Radio is gone for now. Evidently the government put more stringent mechanical license restrictions on internet music, and so the broadcasting site I was using had to significantly raise the price for broadcasting. I was receiving some donations for the station, but not enough to keep it afloat.

    We'll see what happens in the future; I'm looking into some other options as well.

  10. You're not going to be blown away by the choral quality of any of the things I just recommended. To me they are listenable because they sound like something I would hear in church, not because they are of concert quality.

    Admittedly I don't have as sensitive an ear to the choral work; I'm probably more attuned to the quality of the mixing and mastering. I wish there was some middle ground between the "cathedral" recordings (a lot of British sacred recordings) and the warmer, more intimate sound of more popular music, even some of the Soundforth stuff. Soundforth's recent "King of Love" is probably a reasonable balance in this regard.

    Speaking of radio, I wish there were decent Christian radio options on Sirius/XM. There's nothing even close right now. I would love to put together a schedule of solid preaching and music for a national Christian radio station.

  11. I'm all for recordings that sound like what you'd hear in Church. The SMS recording you listed is probably more like that. But the Fettke recordings have a pop edge to both the vocal technique and mix that I think renders them a bit cheap.

  12. Westcoast Mennonite Chamber Choir : http://communitascare.com/store/index.php?main_pa

    You can view the albums they've produced and buy them as albums, but you can also buy and download individual songs. About half of the songs listed on every album give a listening sample. There's is a lot of music at this site but we bought enough individual hymns from this site to burn a sizeable hymn CD for ourselves.

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