At long last, GIA proudly releases Michael Joncas’s first collection in over eight years. Containing themes of divine providence, rescue, and sustenance, this recording comes from the heart of Joncas’s own suffering due to a bout with Guillain-Barré syndrome. After his recovery, Joncas experienced a new surge of musical creativity that gave birth to In the Sight of the Angels.
The lush sounds of choral singing and the elaborate instrumentation of brass, harp, flute, organ, and other instruments makes In the Sight of the Angels a beautiful recording replete with psalm settings, including “Drink in the Richness of God,” “In the Sight of the Angels,” and “Till the End of My Days.” Also present are settings of the three New Testament Lukan infancy canticles—the “Canticle of Zechariah,” the “Canticle of Mary,” and the “Canticle of Simeon.” But, perhaps most appropriate in light of Joncas’s recent experiences are the songs delineating the work of the Holy Spirit, God’s breath (ruach): “All Who Are Led by the Spirit,” “Lord, Send Out Your Spirit,” and “Veni, Sancte Spiritus.”
This tranquil recording has a pastoral feel. It is tender and depicts a merciful God who gives us hope in light of suffering. Joncas’s newfound wisdom resonates through this music. It is his sincere wish that those who sing it, play it, and/or hear it will grow closer to God.