I received this recording in the mail from Gwen
Moore, a resident of Nashville. My review of this collection of unique
Messianic style music left me with a few descriptive words. First of
all, I must tell you a little about Gwen’s background. Gwen has
a long history of involvement in professional music, from being in the
original Fireworks with Marty McCall, to singing on Amy
Grant’s first album, and contributing an original song to Amy’s
third album. She also gained notoriety, singing in some famous jingles
for McDonalds, Dominos Pizza, etc.
Gwen spent a season living in Israel, where she learned Hebrew
and strengthened the roots of her faith. Early in 1990, Gwen gained a
soft spot for the Russian Jews, and therefore "Mizmor Psalms:
A Collection" was recorded.
The first word that came to mind upon listening
to this album was "anointed". This recording is a true
offering to the Lord. It lends itself to be a devotional style of
recording, something that is rare in Messianic music! The entire album
is interwoven between several instrumental interludes and tender vocal
songs, sung both in Hebrew and in English, displaying Gwen’s beautiful
voice. Each song is heartfelt, in addition to being executed to the
highest excellence of musicianship. A very unusual highlight of this
album, is that the musical interludes are improvised spontaneously by
all the musicians. This makes the album highly unusual, and sure to
become a collectors item for Messianic enthusiasts.
The second word that came to mind was
"offering". So much of today’s Messianic style music is
"showy". However, this collection of songs is truly an
offering to the Lord.
Most of the songs on this album are original,
and many of them are scriptures arranged to music by Gwen. There are a
few traditional Messianic songs, "Ma Navu" and "Ruach",
which are among the most beautiful renditions I have ever heard.
Two songs in particular stand out in my mind.
The first is a musical instrumental titled, Instrumental Prologue.
It has a truly spontaneous improvisational style, resembling a Klezmer
style of instrumentation.
Another song that stands out is titled, Ke
Ayal. This song is based on Psalm 42:1. "As the deer pants
for the water brooks, so pants my soul for you." Although this
verse has been sung in other choruses, never have I heard it put to
tender music like this.
I highly recommend the purchase of this anointed
album. It has left me wanting to hear more from Gwen; and more we shall
hear. I am already reviewing two additional works that Gwen has
recorded. Stay tuned!
In 1990, rumors were flying about a pogrom planned in Russia.
Gwen Moore had heard a Canadian lady speak who had visited with Russian
Jews and asked them what we in the West could do for them that was not
already being done. His answer surprised her greatly.
"Pray the Psalms for us," he said.
So it occurred to Gwen to make a collection of Psalms with the plight of
the Russian Jews in mind. She learned some of these songs in
Hebrew while living in Israel in 1986-87, others she already knew, and
some she wrote. This collection of songs and instrumentals was
recorded in two days and on a demo budget.
The instrumentals throughout were improvised - no music was written
down, pre-arranged, or even discussed before they began to play -- by
three people who had never played together before. The keyboardist
had no eye contact with the woodwinds and violin-they were in separate
rooms. They just agreed to worship God and were only told that it
should be "Israeli" flavored. The instrumentalists never
even heard the tracks Gwen had already laid. The keys the
instrumental selahs wound up in were even orchestrated supernaturally.
Talk about sensitivity in listening! The Ruach Hakodesh (Holy
Spirit) is, as we always guessed, the greatest composer, conductor and
producer, by far...
This is a collection of Psalms, both Biblical and contemporary, with
English and Hebrew lyrics. As stated above, interludes between the songs
were created on the spot by three Nashville musicians who had never
improvised together before. The results are stunningly creative,
sensitive and appropriate to the worshipful, reflective tone of the