• Sam99
    Posts: 18
    Where would be a good place to start learning some more modern organ music? I like the music of Dupré and Messiaen (some William Mathias too) but I don’t know where to start, any suggestions for this type of rep?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,574
    A couple not terribly difficult that I like:

    Eight Short Preludes on Gregorian Themes for Organ, Op.45, Marcel Dupre

    Twelve Choral Preludes on Gregorian Chant Themes for Organ, Jeanne Demessieux

    Both of these are published by Alfred and are around $7.00 each.

    Both collections are recorded on YouTube so you can listen and find out if you like them.
  • The 24 pieces en style libre by Louis Vierne are a good collection. You'll find a steady cycle of soft and loud pieces for use at Mass. Hope this helps.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Sam99
  • Sam99
    Posts: 18
    I like the Vierne pieces, I have worked on one or two of those before. I’m not familiar with the Dupré and Demessieux pieces, will be checking them out. Thanks!
  • Check out Jan Janca. His music is in that style, and rather approachable.
    Thanked by 1Sam99
  • Jean Langlais - Huit pieces modales, and 'Ten Pieces'.
    Hermann Schroeder - a variety of short pieces in several volumes.
    Thanked by 1Sam99
  • Dupre's Antiphons and Magnificats for organ are treasures and many are relatively easy. Antiphon III is one of the most "holy" compositions in my opinion.
  • dboothe
    Posts: 27
    Easy Modern Organ Music by British Composers
    I think there are a couple of volumes but I only have volume 1.

    A Gregorian Liturgical Year for Organ by Gerald Near.
    He has 3 volumes out so far. A piece for each Sunday based on one of the propers for that day.
  • MarkS
    Posts: 236
    If you are a Mathias fan, the place to start is the Oxford Press 'A Mathias Organ Album' which has a number of attractive pieces, mostly not too tricky.

    For Messiaen, I've had success playing Le Banquet Celeste—one of his easiest and most accessible IMHO.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jkAyDea7UE
    It's available separately, and is sort of expensive for four pages of music, but oh well! (On my little—but lovely—two manual organ I have to couple a 2' stop from the Great to the pedals at 4' to get something close to the right pedal sound—they are drops of water!)
    *edited—my brain wrote water drops as 'teardrops'.
  • Sam99
    Posts: 18
    I’ll be getting that Mathias book. My teacher said there was a Dupré fugue (don’t know which one) that we’d look at when I wrap up Franck’s Piéce Héroïque. Le Banquet Céleste seems to be a Messiaen piece that won’t offend the ears of the congregation too much haha. One day I’m hoping to tackle La Nativité du Seigneur.

    I love the almost “other-worldly” quality of Messiaen’s music. It’s definitely an acquired taste I think, I’ve showed some people his pieces and they don’t like them
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ...some people...
    I've been surprised many times when multiple people have told me that their favourite piece on the program was the Messiaen. Not the Bach, or de Grigny, or whatever, but the Messiaen. I've even had a few people say half seriously to me, 'I'm not coming to your recital unless it has some Messiaen on it'. Sometimes we are too timid - always afraid of offending the few noisy and ill-bred grinches instead of giving the majority of people the credit that is their due. Program not for the complainers but for the appreciators.

    Sam - another of Langlais's volumes you might look into is Neuf Pieces. These are considerably more challenging than the Huit Pieces, but if you are learning the Piece Heroique you could certainly tackle some of these. The Rhapsodie gregorienne and the Chant de joie are particularly splendid.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,574
    Enjoy Messiaen, but he's not for everyone. I read, in "The Choir Director Wore Out," the last of the liturgical mysteries a humorous take on that composer. When asked by the priest to play Langlais and Messiaen,

    Langlais was okay: I could manage a few short Langlais pieces. Messiaen was another story. I did not care for Olivier Messiaen. As a composer, I found him to be a fine ornithologist. This acrimony probably all stemmed from a graduate course I took in which we had to sight read in front of the class and I was stuck with Mssr. Messiaen and his "Meditations on the Mystery of the Holy Trinity." Not all of them: there are nine, each more horrible than the last. One was plenty, and more or less sounded as if two deaf raccoons were attempting to pry organ beetles from between the keys while a third ran up and down the pedal board trying to escape the noise: all three animals wearing masks so as not to be recognized. Messiaen's music made my teeth hurt.

    I can go along with that. LOL.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • Sam99
    Posts: 18
    Lol now THAT’S funny
    Thanked by 1CharlesW