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If You Search With All Your Heart – Jennifer Foster

Liner Notes

Jennifer Foster on If You Search With All Your Heart

Hello Friends!   I’m really thrilled to share my new recording of inspirational songs, If You Search With All Your Heart. Making this album has been a long, wonderful, challenging journey. I’ve had the desire to share these uplifting songs for many years, and I’m very grateful to finally launch this complete album!

The songs in this collection are solos I’ve discovered over the years and just really love. They are pieces that speak to my heart both musically and spiritually, and whenever I’ve sung them in church or in concerts, people always respond to their healing messages. It’s such a joy to be able to record them. 

This album is actually the outcome of a conversation I had one Sunday morning when I’d sung Craig Courtney’s beautiful setting of the Biblical text from Jeremiah – If You Search With All Your Heart.  After the service, someone in the congregation who is very dear to me said, “When you make your recording, this song has to be on it.” Well, I took that encouragement to heart and determined right there that I would work toward this goal. Today, many years later, the pieces are finally falling into place and it’s been awe-inspiring to me to experience this progress. 

In addition to If You Search, the album includes two other Courtney settings, What Shall I Render to the Lord? and his soaring Psalm VIII; the well-loved Offertory by John Ness Beck and two of his lesser known pieces, Song of Joy, and O Love That Will Not Let Me Go; a grand composition called Alleluia by Rick Vale, plus a bonus track.  One of the songs I’m most excited about is a very special kind of debut. It’s called Solomon’s Prayer with words from the popular hymn by James J. Rome: “Give me, O Lord, an understanding heart.” A legendary choral conductor and composer Robert (Bob) Rockabrand gave this poem the most graceful, elegant setting, and I’m really honored to be able to share it with you. A portion of all physical CD sales will be contributed to the Robert J. Rockabrand Legacy Fund.

Robert J. Rockabrand

On Jennifer Foster
Her sound is beautiful because it is emotional and true, and she makes simple goodness and true love sound natural and convincing, pointing to the way all of us ought to be.”     

Richard Dyer – The Boston Globe

Artists on the Album

Jennifer Foster

Vocalist Jennifer Foster has sung opera, musical theatre, oratorio, recitals and chamber music with world class musicians and conductors throughout the United States and Europe. Her many credits include roles with the Los Angeles Opera, New World Symphony, a national tour with San Francisco Opera, performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Hollywood Bowl, at the Aldeburgh Festival in England, the Tanglewood, Santa Fe, Tucson, and Aspen Music Festivals, and a duet with Bobby McFerrin at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She served as weekly soloist at the international headquarters of The First Church of Christ, Scientist (The Mother Church) in Boston from 1997 to 2004. 

Elina Christova

A versatile pianist with an affinity for modern and contemporary music, Elina Christova has been lauded by critics for her “deeply considered interpretations,” “facile pianism” and “sure musical instincts.” She has appeared at Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls in NYC, Ignacio Cervantes Hall in Havana, the Summit Music Festival and Institute at Manhattanville College, the WPTA Conference in Serbia, and the Steinway Gallery and Klein Auditorium in Connecticut among other venues. Among her recent creative projects is her critically acclaimed double recording of the complete piano sonatas of Alexander Scriabin.

Jennifer’s Thanks …

THANK YOU to everyone whose generous contributions made this recording happen – especially Elina Christova (your brilliance always inspires me), Peter Link & Julia Wade (you are what answered prayer looks like – thank you for never making me feel inadequate despite everything I don’t know), Phil Klum (you lifted this project to another level and lifted my spirit with your grace), Aglika Darakchieva (thank you for your patience, professionalism, and always positive presence), Marshal Root (I treasure your open-hearted support), Heather Petch (BFF&B&B), Sara & Bob Rockabrand (I’m honored to have had your blessing to record Bob’s remarkable song), Elgin & Judy Carelock (you truly walk the talk), Skye Malone, Nathan Burghdorff, Tammy Griffin, Tim Leitner, and most especially Janet Smith (mere words don’t cut it, so thank God for singing), the fantastic Foster children, my world-class husband, William, and my unfailingly devoted Dad. Love always.

Album Credits

executive producer Jennifer Foster

all vocals Jennifer Foster

piano Elina Christova 

recording engineer and editor Aglika Darakchieva

mixed by Peter Link

mastered by Phillip Klum Mastering

graphic design Skye Malone

cover photograph Tammy Griffin

recorded at AYD Studio, Norwalk CT, 2022

Song Credits

If You Search With All Your Heart (3:20) Craig Courtney; Lyrics from the Bible Jeremiah 29

Offertory (2:44) John Ness Beck; Lyrics from the Bible Micah 6

Solomon’s Prayer (2:46) Robert J. Rockabrand; Lyrics by James J. Rome

Psalm VIII (3:18) Craig Courtney; Lyrics from the Bible Psalm 8

O Love that Will Not Let Me Go (2:27) John Ness Beck; Lyrics George Matheson

What Shall I Render to the Lord? (2:38) Craig Courtney; Lyrics from the Bible Psalm 116

Song of Joy (2:07) John Ness Beck; Lyrics from the Bible Psalm 40

Lift Thine Eyes (Elijah) (1:35) Felix Mendelssohn; Lyrics from the Bible Psalm 121

Alleluia (4:30) Music and Lyrics Rick Vale