It was pleasure to review the latest release by Dan Schutte, Table of Plenty Anthology, 1985-2000. Dan has long been one of the seminal voices of the liturgical renewal. His roots extend back to the work of the St. Louis Jesuits in the 1970’s. Dan’s songs have been consistently been in the forefront of the new music written since Vatican II. His music has also drawn a lot of criticism over the years as well. Many of his early works, including such popular titles as “Glory and Praise to Our God,” “City of God,” and the ever popular “Here I Am, Lord,” fuel heated debates among self-proclaimed liturgists in the blogosphere.
Nevertheless, it appears to this author that much of what has been alleged is simply untrue. the Table of Plenty Anthology, 1985-2000 captures a very prolific Dan Schutte who has tremendous depth when it comes to composing. It is amazing how well his compositions are able to bridge the distance from traditional organ and choir to folk type ballads with jangly 12-string guitar. Dan effortlessly seems to compose music for any type of liturgical music ensemble and across an amazing range of musical genres.
Since this collection is an anthology there is no new material to review, but one cannot help but be impressed by the depth of a composer who shifts seamlessly from Roger McGuinn inspired guitar work on the opening track “Table of Plenty” to the full-bodied pipe organ with SATB choir on track seven, “Sing, O Sing.” In short the Table of Plenty Anthology, 1985-2000 is a CD that should be in the private library of every serious pastoral musician in the Catholic Church.
Table of Plenty Anthology, 1985-2000 is available from Oregon Catholic Press. More information can be found online at: www.ocp.org.