This fabulous collection provides a breath of fresh air for these beautiful chestnuts. The arrangements are easy for an intermediate pianist with unique stylings that let the congregation bask in their familiar favorite hymns and carols and revel in where Joel Raney takes them. A great investment.
These pieces are useful, beautiful, harmonically interesting and easy to play! I am an organist who often has to play the piano for worship. These pieces are perfect. Interesting without being full of octaves---organists have couplers for a reason! This one is worth the price.
I first saw this book when being used by a pianist for a funeral. The arrangements were fantastic. I consider myself to be an intermediate to advanced pianist and these are great. Most all are easy to sight read the first time through, but are not simple in arrangement. I also liked the way the table of contents groups them in categories for just the right occasion.. Love Joel Ramey’s works!
"EASY" doesn't usually sound like this. Very valuable collection for emergencies and whatnot. Thanks.
I have stacks of piano arrangements of hymns, but never have I bought a collection like this - quite large - in which I am playing through it and every single piece is something I can use and love to play. Joel's harmonies, rhythms and careful and sensitive attention to the style of each hymn is seriously beyond belief. I love this collection. Thanks, Joel!
I've come under the musical spell of composer/arranger Joel Raney in recent months. I'm on an email list with Hope Publishing Company and some months ago received an email from them announcing the publication of his "Gospel Greats, Vol. 2" - so I assumed there must be a first volume, too (I'm pretty sharp, huh?). Sure enough, I found the first volume in their catalog.Hope does their 'preview' option exactly right - you can view an entire piece or collection in a PDF download. I previewed the two volumes and ordered them both. They are fantastic collections, very much in the gospel piano style that I really like.Not long ago, I got another such email, announcing Raney's "60 Easy Hymn Settings for Piano." $55 for the book, which made me hesitate (though it's a great deal for SIXTY pieces of music; with shipping, it cost me just under $1.05 per piece - and all the pieces are wonderful!). I looked through the collection and knew their beauty right away - and finally gave in and ordered the volume. It was on our doorstep when we got home from church yesterday.I played through the whole book yesterday evening - in two sessions - and it's is such a beautiful collection of music. Yes, they are 'easy' to play - no, they don't require hours and hours of practice - yet they are so very beautiful in their relative simplicity. I like music written in this manner. It allows me to not have to focus so much on "getting the notes right" and frees my mind up so that I can pay more attention to musical phrasing and melodic/harmonic balance, so I can 'make' music instead of 'read' music. Music doesn't have to involve virtuosic displays to be good; in fact, too much virtuoso-style of writing can easily distract from a hymn arrangement (in my opinion), and Raney has done a marvelous job of writing in this collection - one that pianists of all ages will be able to enjoy.Raney has a way of writing such gorgeous introductions and accompaniments to hymns that many of us have loved for many years. Along with the two gospel volumes, this will become one of my favorites!I highly recommend these books for my musician friends who play piano for church - or just for their own enjoyment.Thank you, Joel Raney, for another marvelous collection of music - and thank you, Hope Publishing Company, for making it possible to fully review your publications prior to purchasing.I am eager to review the next publication of piano music by Joel Raney!