It's not often you see the presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hitting the no. 1 spot on a Billboard chart. But Bishop Gérald Caussé and Nicolas Giusti just took that acclaimed spot on the classical charts with their album Joyful.
Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé and accomplished Italian composer and conductor Nicolas Giusti met at a stake conference in Rome more than 10 years ago while Bishop Caussé was serving as a member of the area presidency. Through their shared love of the gospel and music, they quickly became fast friends, so when Giusti sent Bishop Caussé a set of hymns he had arranged and asked Bishop Caussé to record an album with him, Bishop Caussé couldn’t say no. The two spent months practicing together on BYU’s campus and at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square preparing for the album.
“It’s been a wonderful experience for me. [Nicolas] helped me to appreciate hymns even more,” Bishop Caussé says.
“He is impressive because he can do everything,” Giusti says.
The remarkable support and friendship between these two talented men shines through in Joyful as even traditionally somber songs are given a joyful spin, celebrating the Atonement of Jesus Christ and bearing a powerful musical testimony.
One such song on the album is "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" Bishop Caussé explains, "When Nicolas sent me the arrangement of 'Where Can I Turn for Peace?' I didn’t feel it was a good one, because I always listen to that hymn thinking of how sad it is when you are facing adversity and you need the help of the Lord. And then Nicolas said, 'President Nelson would say, ‘Happiness has nothing to do with the circumstances of our lives but everything to do with the focus of our lives.'' The Atonement is a joyful event we need to celebrate. And there is a lot of joy in the goodness of the gospel, including in the Atonement of Jesus Christ."
Lead image a screenshot from the video above.
Listen to more uplifting piano duets in Joyful: Piano Duets of Gérald Caussé and Nicolas Giusti.