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The Power Of The Cross (Oh To See The Dawn)

By Stuart Townend

Piano Solo - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download
By Stuart Townend. Arranged by Brian Buda. Individual Part, Score. 8 pages. Published by budaful music (H0.198965-130102).

Item Number: H0.198965-130102

"2017 Sacred Music Contest Entry"

Keith Getty's and Stuart Townend's The Power of the Cross is perhaps one of the greatest hymns written during our lifetime. Few hymns capture the essence of the gospel story so vividly and effectively. The opening two stanzas have a descriptive, dark nature that I wanted to explore in a minor mode. This provides a stark contrast to the hope we find in the chorus and later verses. Instrumental music, when connected to words as Christian music is, must always be motivated by those words and try to paint a picture to the audience what those truths mean to the artist.

Performance notes.

There are 4 ways to end this arrangement. This solo implements all 4 stanzas making this a longer than normal instrumental piece (it's easy to omit stanzas from most hymns but not this one!). Of course, the 1st way would be to 1) perform it straight through as written. There are times however, when a shortened setting is more suitable for smaller audiences. In the music there are two options given that omit 1 of the 4 stanzas. 2) this option omits the exciting key change and 4th stanza (ending on the 3rd). 3) This is an option that I would choose over option 2. Skip over the 3rd stanza and enter into the key change. (difficult to describe but it becomes plain in the music)

4) The final option can be found on the bonus page (8). Big, powerful endings are appropriate in hymns such as this, especially when used as an offertory; however, during communion, loud and majestic endings can distract from the tranquil, prayerful setting of the moment. The bonus page also includes an ending that is more meditative in nature and will segue into prayer more fluidly.

There are moments in church services where a bit of improvisation is necessary. Music during communion often has to end quickly at awkward places. Also on the bonus page, I’ve written out a quick ending in both keys that, regardless of where you are in the song, can be used to end the song quickly, effortlessly, and beautifully.

Performance time varies but as written should take roughly 4:50-5 minutes.

Below are the lyrics as they progress in this arrangement.

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day,
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Every bitter thought,
Every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

This, the power of the cross,
Christ became sin for us
Took the blame, bore the wrath
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Now the daylight flees
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life,
"Finished!" the victory cry.

This, the power of the cross,
Christ became sin for us
Took the blame, bore the wrath
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the power of the cross
Son of God? slain for us
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

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  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 5

    Keats Ellis
    Difficulty Level:
  • 2017-03-04 21:15:55.0 Outstanding flexible arrangement

    Brian Buda has written an outstanding piano arrangement of the Getty hymn, The Power Of the Cross. This is an ideal arrangement for pianist who need several options for a shorter arrangement. Options for a soft or majestic finish make this versatile for various worship settings. Buda has included options...

    for ending in various keys. What a clever arrangement, wish more arrangement existed like this. Brian Buda continues his top notch arranging with this Getty tune.

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