Organ Prelude/Postlude for Chanted Vespers
  • BrLeo
    Posts: 6

    I am seeking recommendations for organ preludes and postludes for chanted vespers. We are a Benedictine monastic community, not a parish, and generally it is just us monks with a few listeners in the back of the Church. We chant our office a capella, but are discussing the possibility of introducing organ accompaniment to vespers for solemnities and certain feast days.

    I am not looking for pieces specifically written for Divine Office, but rather any piece which you think would be a fitting complement. It is a big, echoing basilica, so when there are few people inside, the organ is very loud. So I'm looking for pieces which can be done justice on a "quiet" setting, probably (but not necessarily) just one or two 8' flutes.

    I appreciate any and all recommendations. Peace be with you.

    Br. Leo
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,654
    The Gregorian Organist by Carlo Rossini. PM me and I’ll send you a pdf.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 802
    Music based on chant melodies can work well, esp. based on Office hymns and Magnificat tones. Some of the better known composers include:

    Jean Titelouze (early 17th c.)
    Nicholas de Gringy (late 17th c.)
    Alexandre Guilmant (19th c.) - Liturgical Organist
    Dom Paul Benoit (20th c.)
    Flor Peeters (20th c.)
    Gerald Near (late 20th-21st c.) - St. Augustine Organbook; Chantworks (3 vols.)

    The works of the first three are available at IMSLP (follow links above).

    More ideas at this discussion.
  • BrLeo
    Posts: 6
    Dear Stimson and Rich,

    Wow, I did not expect so many recommendations so quickly, thank you! Stimson, I will contact you regarding the PDF. Thank you both very much.

    Br. Leo
  • Br. Leo,

    I strongly second Stimson's and Rich's recommendations, especially if you can get a hold of Dom Benoit's music, since he was a Benedictine.

    Also, here are some that I have been using recently, and they're very prayerful and easy to play:

    J. F. Couperin (18th c.) Mass of the Convents/Mass of the Parishes (Little pieces based on chant ordinaries.)
    Various (18th-19th c.) Organ Book
    Fr. Domenico Zipoli (18th c.) Tablature Sonatas (The first half is for the organ.)
    Nicohlas Lemmens (19th c.) - School of Organ (Organ pieces with progressive difficulties.)
    Johann Diebold (late 19th-20th c.) - The Catholic organist in the High Mass and Requiem (German titles. Note: The edition on the bottom is not public domain in country of origin.)

    Here are two pieces that are really beautiful preludes.
    Franck: Andantino in E-flat Major
    Zipoli: All'Elevazione in Fa

    Hope all goes well! What a wonderful thing to be able to share your gift to praise Him! Please remember us in your prayers as you play on that organ!

    All to Jesus, All through Mary,

    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • You may find Pachelbel's Magnificat fugues of use, and there is no lack of variety.
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • BrLeo
    Posts: 6
    Dear all,

    Thank you, thank you for the many recommendations. AlpineOrganist, don't worry, you are prayed for; that is our life. Peace be with you.

    Br. Leo