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!
I used Salisbury, trying to use it more like an "American organ," and I am very pleased with the results.
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 seventh work is "Prelude on Morning Hymn," "Awake, my soul, and with the sun," which sets the well-known tune by Francois Barthelemon in a very distinctive way. The work opens with a brief toccata dialogue before getting down to the business of the prelude itself. The tune is cleverly set, and harmonies and textures really get a workout. I had fun playing, but I personally wouldn't use it as a service piece. While it's got grandness and style, for me, it's a bit too "Crystal Cathedral" for my liturgical style. ;-)
A photo of Raymond Haan is attached below.
Carson has also asked that I include the following:
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. In addition to an extended career in education teaching middle and high school English, Haan 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 well.