Notes: This arrangement was commissioned by CBC Radio Two for their "Easter Sunrise Celebration", 2001. Although the program is now cancelled, in its time it was a magnificent celebration of Easter music that would emanate each year from a different city in Canada and be broadcast live throughout the country. The first performance of Fairest Lord Jesus took place at Edmonton City Hall, conducted by Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff, with a 4:30am choral call so the concert could be broadcast live to Newfoundland and other earlier time zones. Fairest Lord Jesus was simulcast on CBC Radio 2 Choral Concert and CBC television that Easter morning April 15, 2001. The arrangement is intended for a massed choir with optional congregation or audience participation. The original scoring was for brass octet, while a smaller version was arranged for the 2007 Easter Sunrise Celebration in Toronto (both versions can be heard to the right). Score and parts for both versions are available thru the CMC (use the link above). The text is the public domain English translation of "Schönster Herr Jesu" done by Joseph Seiss in 1873. The melody is the famous Silesian folk song known as "Crusader's Hymn".
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature, O Thou of God and man the Son, Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands, Robed in the blooming garb of spring; Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer, Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine, Fairer still the moonlight, And all the twinkling starry host; Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer Than all the angels heaven can boast.
All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly, Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee; None can be nearer, fairer or dearer, Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations! Son of God and Son of Man! Glory and honor, praise, adoration, Now and forever more be Thine.
Performed by: Massed Chorus, Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff, conductor; Jeremy Spurgeon, organ; brass octet and percussion. Live Recording, Edmonton City Hall, April 15, 2001.
Performed by: Choirs of King's University College, Edmonton, Dr. Melanie Turgeon, conductor; Joachim Segger, organ; brass quintet and percussion. Recorded on, The Voice of My Prayer (2011).