About two months ago, Carson Cooman asked if I would be interested in recording a set of new works by Raymond H. Haan. I am always pleased to be invited, so I said that I would be glad to do them.
My first instincts was to be put off by the registrations, as they seem to be for a large Allen or Rodgers. However, when I stop prejudging and working on them, I found some REALLY BEAUTIFUL MUSIC in them!
What I found to be especially satisfying is that Carson sent the recordings to the composer, and he was overjoyed. As a performer, that is something very gratifying.
The fifteenth and final work is "Restoration," which I believe is an entirely original work, not using any melody for it's theme. For inspiration, the composer takes familiar words from Psalm 23: "in green pastures...beside still waters...He restoreth my soul."
The work is pastoral in nature, and there are some wonderful shadings of harmony and delicate weaving of melodic phrases. While not an "easy" piece to play, as I recall, I think this is the first take on this one - or maybe the second. Either way, it's the perfect way to end this extended journey through the 15 pieces.
Published in "Raymond H. Haan: Preludes and Meditations" by Lorenz Publishing.
A native of Michigan, Raymond H. Haan (b. 1938) is a graduate of Calvin College and the University of Michigan. He was
Director of Music at Cutlerville East Christian Reformed Church for more than fifty years. As a composer he has published extensively, and his body of more than 500 works includes music for organ, choir, handbells, and other solo instruments.
I found these pieces really "refreshing," and I hope that you will as I did. During the 2 weeks that I devoted to these pieces, I grew very close to them, and I really "got inside" of them.
I found the experience very spiritual and moving, and I hope this comes through in my playing.