What's some of your favorite organ repertoire?
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Alphonse Mailly (1833-1918)

    Pâques fleuries [Easter Flowers] (1903)
    8 pages
    4 min

    Online score ...

    Online soundfile ...
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,773
    I question whether those who push Bach for Catholic liturgy are much different than those who push praise music. It is another example of using the music one likes.

    Aye, Charles, there's clearly a problem with this whole thread; the relevant question is what is God's favorite repertoire. Nevertheless I do not consider it always appropriate to play music one doesn't like, outside of penitential seasons, that is.
  • Don't overlook the voluntaries of earlier Tudor and Stuart times as preludes, offertory music, or communion music, or even postludes. Many of these are quite rambling and not very suitable, but many of them are from one to three pages long, are in more-or-less motet style and make exquisite service music. Try the voluntaries, fantasias (pronounced fantaseeuhs), fancies (short for fantasia) and such by Bull, Tomkins, Weelkes, Purcell, Gibbons, Cosyn, etc. All of this literature is manuals only, though some of it is easy, and some is challenging. It all has a very English flavour.

    Thanked by 1veromary
  • As for Bach -
    There isn't much of his choral music that would be apt for mass. Perhaps a chorus here and there from the cantatas would make a perfectly good offertory motet. These would be a small minority, however. Ditto, an aria or duet from a cantata could conceivably serve as good communion or communion meditation music. On the other hand, I think that his great motet, Singet dem Herren, would make a splendid offertory motet on some solemnity or special occasion. Then, too, there is Schutz' grand Cantate Domino, which would be spectacular at the offertory on an appropriate solemnity.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    I tend to agree on the choral music. I have been able to play "Liturgical Year" pieces with no problems. The congregation doesn't know the hymns on which it is based, so they just hear what they consider nice pieces of music. I have a former Episcopalian in my choir and he is the only one who recognizes those hymns.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Am I missing something with this whole Bach discussion? The music I play by him are mostly preludes, toccatas, fugues, etc., with the odd chorale prelude. Is the Imitation and Fugue in B minor really that inappropriate for a piece at a Catholic Mass?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    Instrumental pieces can work, depending on where in the mass they are placed. I hope you are not playing full-organ toccatas at communion - LOL. Choral works by Protestant composers do need to be examined for orthodoxy, since they were obviously written for a different theology. But I even have to do that for supposedly Catholic hymns. Some of them are not so orthodox.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "It is another example of using the music one likes."

    Hence the title of the thread, "What is Your Favorite Organ Music?"
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    Some of my favorite organ music is French and not always useful for mass. With some of the Widor pieces, we would be there until late evening without cutting them. The French Baroque works tend to fit better, time wise.
  • Protasius
    Posts: 468
    I regularly play Buxtehudes Prelude and Fugue in C BuxWV 137 for solemn Feasts. It is not that complicated and sounds very solemn.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    I also like the Aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations, and Saint-Saens Prelude (in A Major). I may have already mentioned this, but the Various Partitas on "O Gott Du Frommer Gott" by J.S. Bach is also good for solemn occasions.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,472
    64 sub contra blatto fatto basso
    32 thump (percussion stop)
    32 super undersatz basso de flunto
    8 suavial orange smoothie
    8 sizzlin' steak n' shaver string
    4 quadrangular flute
    2/47th twisted atomic mutation
    1 teeny eeny meeny
    1/27 dopple chattering teeth (upper and lower molar)

    This is getting out of hand and must be stopped.

  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Vierne has a fun "Carillon" in the 24-pieces in Freestyle (or whatever it's called,) which makes a nice postlude (or even just the last 2 pages of it.)
  • BJJ1978
    Posts: 22
    I have a suggestion (though I don't know if someone has already suggested it...). I recently discovered and learned "Toccata in D minor" by Gaston Belier. It's an exciting piece and really fun to play. From what I gathered from other organists, this piece isn't as well known among the French literature, I suppose because Belier wasn't nearly as prolific as Vierne and the other French organists. I do know that Belier dedicated this piece to Eugene Gigout. It's become one of my favorite postludes and concert pieces.
    Thanked by 2R J Stove eft94530
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    It is also free on IMSLP.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • Herbert Howells' psalm preludes. Admittedly, they are not too apt as voluntaries at mass, but they are superb recital literature. Some of the psalms treated (34, 23, 130, etc.) are particularly appropriate if one's recital is basically thematic.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    BJJ - thanks for that piece. Looks very interesting! I'll just mention - the IMSLP version lists Gigout as the dedication (if my French is remotely correct.)
    Thanked by 2R J Stove Allan D
  • BJJ1978
    Posts: 22
    RJ - oh my, you're right, it was Gigout he made the dedication to! *red faced* I'm glad you looked into the piece, I really think you'll like it. -BJJ
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    How did I miss this fabulous thread?!!

    God prefers Bach whenever he gets the chance to hear it, by the way. He created that dude to be in a class by himself, and God always has that silly smirk when he listens to it. (although I truly do love Buxtehude and Pachelbel)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    God can't stand Bach. You've been listening to heretics again! LOL.
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 892
    Bach wanted to play for the Catholic Church (why else did he write the B minor Mass?). Unfortunately he had to support his large family (how more Catholic can one be?) and the Lutherans paid a bigger salary! :)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    Right, just like Luther died wanting to be Catholic - assuming the Church would bless and accept all his heretical teachings. The Lutherans still pay bigger salaries, at least in this area.
  • "The Lutherans still pay bigger salaries, at least in this area."

    Because the Lutherans hire better organists who play better instruments!

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    Actually their instruments generally shriek and grate. It is only the salaries that are better, not the instruments or organists. They do have literature options that Catholic churches often do not have.

    A couple of the major Lutheran churches in the city do have pretty good instruments. One large church grudgingly moved a home made tracker built by a now deceased major organ company representative. They had planned to scrap it when moving to their new building, but ran the risk of offending a major donor. Electronics are making the same inroads into Lutheran churches they are making into other denominations. Most of the smaller Lutheran churches in the area have electronics.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    Lutherans: Too weird to be Catholic, too poor to be Episcopalian, too happy to be Presbyterian.
  • I love playing Bach at Mass. I cannot imagine a more fitting tribute to God than to play works like his Prelude in A Minor, the "O Mensch Bewein" at Lent, or other masterpieces. And, it's obvious he was a deeply religious man, and with 20 kids, more Catholic than most Catholics. I can only imagine that a Catholic organist who did not play Bach at Mass must be someone who simply is not able to play his music.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    No, some of us don't like his music that much and don't find it a good fit with the Catholic Mass. I can and have played his music for many years. I don't like that North German Baroque style. That music was never Catholic, but written for use in the German Lutheran church. It is about as Catholic as my neighbor's cat (don't like cats, either - LOL). Now if you are talking about concert pieces, Bach is great for concerts. When I have played his compositions, it was mostly in a concert or recital setting. Every now and then, I will play a piece upon request as a postlude or prelude.
  • Norddeutsche Katholiken haben nur plötzlich aus dieser Gruppe verschwunden, die ihre Katzen mit ihnen. Was für eine Tragödie. Nun, zumindest die Katze Teil.

    Dies ist zu Ehren von den Katzen: Die Katzen werden erklären, warum das College nicht leisten konnten, eine Bank.

    Thanked by 1Felicity
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    Nice playing. I will blame my French grandmother for my love of French literature, but you can always discuss French organ music with me. It's all her fault - LOL. Francis is the Bachophile, so you need to discuss Bach with him. He's rather good at it.
  • Bach wanted to play for the Catholic Church (why else did he write the B minor Mass?).

    Wouldn't the overlapping text in the Credo disqualify it from use in the Mass?
  • I don't ever recall Bach wanting to work in a Catholic church...possibly for the same reason so many avoid it today, but: wIki speaks instead of leaks:

    On February 1, 1733 Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, died. Five months of mourning followed, during which all public music-making was suspended. Bach used the opportunity to work on the composition of a Missa, a portion of the liturgy sung in Latin and common to both the Lutheran and Roman Catholic rites [ed. but in the Lutheran church sung in German]. His aim was to dedicate the work to the new sovereign Augustus III, a Catholic, with the hope of obtaining the title "Electoral Saxon Court Composer". Upon its completion, Bach visited Augustus III and presented him with a copy of the Missa, together with a petition to be given a court title, dated July 27, 1733; in the accompanying inscription on the wrapper of the mass he complains that he had "innocently suffered one injury or another" in Leipzig.[5] The petition did not meet with immediate success, but Bach eventually got his title; he was made court composer to Augustus III in 1736.

    And then I stumbled across this whizbanger:

    Luther wrote, “I also wish we had as many songs as possible in the vernacular which the people could sing during mass, immediately after the gradual and also after the Sanctus and Agnus Dei. . . . But poets are wanting among us, or not yet known, who could compose evangelical and spiritual songs, as Paul calls them [Col. 3:16], worthy to be used in the church of God.”
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen R J Stove
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    Bach was a working musician with a large family to feed. A condition many musicians today can identify with. I will leave it to the rest of you to decide if working conditions have improved since then.
  • On all this discussion of national origins: my grandmother was Polish, so to which school do you think I would naturally gravitate? My fathers side is Burgundian French, and I do like Daquin, Nivers, Couperin (especially the clavecin music), and Piroye among others. But as my fathers side of the family has been in the USA for about a hundred and fifty years, moms side only arrived in the early twentieth century, some time after WWI. Can't say that I like much German rep, but Buxtehude is excellent, and yes I know he was Danish.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    Yeah, I am planning to play some Buxtehooter for postlude next Sunday. ;-)
  • You do know there is Polish repertoire, right? Look at the CEKM volumes. Lots of liturgical things.
    Thanked by 1Andrew Motyka
  • The North German styles of repertoire actually owe plenty to the period preceding the Reformation and to Italian styles too. Note the use of the 'werks' for creating contrasting ensembles.
  • Thank you, Palestrina, I didn't know about the CEKM. I found the Polish music but right now it is out of stock.
  • Well, ClergetKubisz, I'm not sure where you live; but even here in southeastern Australia, campus music libraries have most or all of the CEKM volumes. (Heaven only knows when anyone other than myself last looked at them.) So a visit to one such library might obtain for you whatever Polish pieces you need. I can't imagine there'd be serious copyright-related objections to photocopying of the relevant pages (given the publication's age), although the library would be most reluctant to let anybody remove the book from the premises.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Returning to the purpose of this Forum Discussion ...
    marajoy: usable as postludes or preludes [...] favorite organ pieces [...] less famous

    Festal Prelude (Opus 5)(1914)
    Alec Rowley (1892-1958)

    Online score (free) ...

    Online mp3 or video ...
    Sorry, no, I have not located any.

    Duration 8 min.

    Alec Rowley (1892-1958) was born in London England. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with Frederick Corder. In 1920 he began teaching composition at Trinity College (London). From the 1930s the BBC regularly broadcast his music and his performances of piano music. He was organist in several churches [in 1940s at St Margaret (Westminster); in 19__ at St Alban (Teddington) "for many years"]. He wrote several books on music and was a writer for the organbuilder Henry Willis & Sons Ltd magazine "The Rotunda". His compositions include pieces for: orchestra (concertos, suites); chamber groups (strings, winds, etc); ballet; songs (solo, chorus); solo piano; solo organ (preludes, toccatas, marches, voluntaries, sonatas, symphonies).
    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alec_Rowley
    see http://www.musicweb-international.com/amateurs/Rowley.html
    Thanked by 1CharlesW

  • Marcel Lanquetuit, Toccata in D Major!
  • I've recently discovered the music of Louis Dornel.

  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Scherzo-Pastorale (1914)
    Gottfried Harrison Federlein (1883-1952)

    Online score (free) ...

    Online mp3 or video ...

    Duration 5 min.

    Gottfried Harrison Federlein (1883-1952) was born in New York; his mother was Connecticut-born arranger and contralto soloist; his father was German-born author, musician, scholar, teacher, a pupil of Rheinberger, and taught him music. By age 10 Gottfried gave a performance at Carnegie Hall. He continued his education at: Sachs Institute; Trinity School (Manhattan); Institute of Musical Art (1905-07, now The Juilliard School). In 1904 he became a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists. At age 17 he started working as organist: Church of the Incarnation (age 18); Church of Saint Mary the Virgin (Dec 1903); Church of the Resurrection (where he also served as choirmaster); The Society for Ethical Culture (1910-1921, where he also served as choirmaster); Central Presbyterian Church, Montclair NJ (1921); Temple Emanu-El (30 years). He gave recitals (throughout New York and eastern North America), taught, arranged, published, composed (Anthems; Chamber music; Church and synagogue service music; Operetta; Organ and piano works; Religious and secular songs; Songs for voice and piano).
    see http://voices.yahoo.com/gottfried-federlein-organist-largest-synagogue-12421424.html
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Recently have fallen in love with the Voluntarys of John Stanley, and the Magnificat Versets of Jehan Titelouze, at IMSLP.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,948
    Stanley is great stuff. When I play his works a hush falls over the congregation, and some have said it is the loveliest music they have ever heard.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,773
    (Stanley & Titelouse) ...if you call that organ repertoire :-) I'm a bit pedal-shy myself and the basic kit also includes Franck, Elgar, Cabezon, Messe pour les convents, Manualiterübung III and Frescobaldi. But let me put in a plug for C. P. E. Bach's sonatas as well!
  • BenBen
    Posts: 3,114
    Big fan of Spanish organ music.
  • For new music contact Dr Gregory Hamilton at Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas (Irving)
    His compositions for organ are quite interesting and challenging and he would love to supply you with them. He has written a number of pieces for me to do in recitals. The latest is a set of three canonic trios on the Trinity office hymn Immensa et Una Trinitas, which I will be doing on his semninary's new organ this October. I commend highly his work!

    By the way: about Spanish music: Robert Bates will soon have a release of the complete works of Araujo.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen BruceL
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,162
    Robert Bates will soon have a release of the complete works of Araujo.

  • RMSawicki
    Posts: 122
    For what it is worth, my favorites:

    Franck: Final Op. 21, Piece Heroique, Trois Chorales.
    Vierne: Symphonies 1, 2, and 3, Carillon de Westminster.
    Liszt: Fantasia & Fugue on "Ad nos..."
    Dupre: Variations sur un Noel, Prelude & Fugue in g minor.
    Widor: Symphony #6.
    Buxtehude: Passacaglia in d minor, Prelude, Fugue & Chaconne in C.
    Alain: "Litanies".
    St. Saens: Fantasia in e-flat.
    Messiaen: "Dieu parmi nous".
    Soler: "The Emperor's Fanfare".
    Jackson: "The Archbishop's Fanfare"
    Boellman: Toccata from "Suite Gothique".
    Couperin: Chaccone in g minor.
    Wilson: Liturgical meditation, "The blessing of palms".
    Durufle: Prelude and Fugue sur le nom "d'Alain".

    Gaudte in Domino Semper!
    Thanked by 1marajoy