Piano Solos and Preludes for Reverential Worship
by Kristeen C. Polhamus
Hymns of Heaven is a delightful collection of piano solos and preludes for reverential worship. Her dedication conveys the spirit in which the music is written: “this book is dedicated to all pianists who play with joy in their fingers and love in their soul.” The hymns in the book are enhanced by tastefully presented harmonies that add interest and appeal without detracting from the worshiped intent of the hymn’s original composers, they include (1) Come. Follow Me; (2) I Need Thee Every Hour; (3) There Is a Green Hill Far Away; (4) Abide with Me; (5) The Lord Is My Shepherd; (6) Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow; (7) ‘Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love; (8) Joseph Smith’s First Prayer; (9) A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief; (10) Where Can I Turn for Peace?; (11) Love One Another; (12) Sweet Hour of Prayer; (13) I Am a Child of God; (14) As Sisters in Zion (Piano Solo); (15) As Sisters in Zion (with Lyrics); (16) As Sisters in Zion (Soprano & Alto Descants). Her arrangement of As Sisters in Zion is unique. She first presents a verse as a piano solo, then as accompaniment for sisters as they sing a verse from the hymnal. She then offers two different descants: one for soporanos, the other for altos. Another unique treatment is provided for the hymns Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow_the music is arranged in Baroque Style.
The Hymns of Heaven are designed to stand alone as piano solos or meeting preludes or postludes. However, they also can be effectively performed “side by side” with the LDS hymnal, for most of them are written in the same key as the hymnal. Example: play a basic hymn and then a corresponding arrangement from Hymns of Heaven, to provide length and interest. (Performance level: similar to books 2 and 3 of the John Thompson series books 1-5; Bastien Piano Basics, book 4; Alfred’s Basic Piano Library, books 5 & 6)