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on February 12, 2010
This hymn arrangement book is awesome! I love each arrangement. There are only two or three I have never heard before. I highly recommend this book to pianist who are intermediate or even the advanced pianist. The chords are beautiful, the arrangements are simple, and I am very pleased with it. Advanced pianist can practice and play these songs for offeratories the night before or morning of.
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on April 18, 2012
This book is not at all what I was searching for. I was hoping to get a book of nicely arranged hymns, but what this actually is is a book of hymns that have been wildly distorted and rearranged so that, while they are still recognizable, the rhythms and structures of the original songs have been completely abandoned. There are some very odd patterns and tunes, and many of the airier hymns have been turned into minor-sounding drudgery. If you are bored with hymns the way they are and are looking for new variations of them, you might enjoy this. But if, like me, you are just looking for some classy renditions of these beautiful pieces, this is not for you.

I had a few of my friends listen to some of them and they agreed with me that these renditions are less than stellar. I'll be sending this back.
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on August 14, 2013
Victor Labenske once again gives us a book with interesting rhythms and beautiful, modern chords. An intermediate to late intermediate player can spend only a moderate amount of time practicing, and you can have the music in this book ready for performance. The length of the pieces is good for church service performance (3 - 4 pages each). This book is also good for teaching students who wish to play in church.

I bought this book for my daughter who is a church pianist also. I loaned her one of my V. Labenske books, and now she's a fan too.

It is wonderful that his books always have a spiral binding!!! I recently bought a Sharon Aaronson book that I like really well, but I struggle with turning pages and keeping the book open because it is not spiral bound. When will they ever learn that pianists need for their books to remain OPEN when they are playing?!?!?!?! The only solution is to break the binding, but it still will never work as well as a spiral binding.
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on July 19, 2009
This book isn't extremely challenging, but there are many nice, simple arrangements for services when you don't have a lot of time to practice. Worth the price!
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on November 25, 2010
I have several books in the Sacred Performer Collection series and this is one of my favorites. A nice collection for any pianist to have for preludes and offertories. The labeling Intermediate to Late Intermediate is accurate.
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on May 10, 2011
This book is truly intermediate, which is important to note. The songs included are traditional and fairly easy to play without being completely repetitious. The arranger(s) spend time making a few minor melody and timing adjustments to keep the listeners interest. All in all a fairly decent book for a church pianist in need of ideas.
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on January 20, 2012
I liked this book. I really did. The pieces were simple (and short) but were still beautiful. I have a bad habit of picking and choosing a few pieces in a book that I like and will practice, and with all of the songs in this book, I had many to pick and choose from. I have ended up liking most of the songs in this book, and I think it is definitely a good book. As I said, they are very short, and some of them have odd rhythms (which I really don't like), but still is a pretty collection.
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on January 9, 2015
These are good arrangements. Some of them are a bit repetitive (i.e. songs sounding the same), but I appreciate the variety so that I can match them up with other service music. I really like Melody Bober solos - and these are comparable to hers in difficulty (late intermediate) and quality of arrangements
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on October 23, 2014
This book was a challenge for me. It is more for the late Intermediate and Advanced pianist but that is just fine. I found that with practice I could play a few of the pieces and I discovered that this arranger has so much creativity that when I find his books I buy them immediately. If you like new and fresh arrangements Labenske is the one to choose. If you don't like the old tried and true gospel songs changed then you should skip Labenske because he is very creative and the song is made fresh and--no--it is not off or odd or ugly sounding--it is his own. That is what I like about Labenske--he pushes the envelope and you have an over the top arrangement--fresh and new but still akin to the original. It is all a matter of taste but I love creative arrangements so he is my favorite.
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on January 2, 2014
This book has nice arrangements of sacred music which can be used in church for special music, or just played at home for your own personal enjoyment.
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