Favorite Pachelbel Magnificat Fugues
  • I've read in a number of places that the Pachelbel Magnificat Fugues are a great option for postludes for those who can't (or don't want to) play Bach. I'd like to try to learn some, but I don't know where to start. What are your favorites? Which work best as postludes, in your experience? Is it okay to use the scores from IMSLP, or would a bound edition be better?
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    I have IMSLP, and they're just fine for my use. They provide a nice variety.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    they are amazing... highly under rated and over looked
  • MBWMBW
    Posts: 175
    I agree completely with Francis. Unfortunately, my scores are at church so I can't give you any specific suggestions. I am playing them from the Kalmus (insert Frau Blucher sound effect) edition and I like all of them. At least two make good postludes. If the OP has not found what is wanted, post it and I will give the exact citations when in the office.
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 412
    With IMSLP scores, you know that you have a public domain item, which I like; I use them for these fugues, and in general, whenever possible.
    However, I do admit that the advantage of owning a bound edition is that you are not limited to the selections you have bothered to print off!
    [Which encourages sight reading & exploration of new pieces.]

    Regarding the fugues themselves,

    The one which are double fugues, in three sections are:
    Mode I, #12
    Mode VI, #1
    Mode VIII, #8
    The first section and second section each have a different subject, while in the third section the two subjects are used simultaneously.

    I also have a random liking for:
    Mode VI, #3
    Mode VII, #7
    Mode VIII, #3
    Mode VIII, #7
    This is perhaps just because I have played them a couple of times, but they have stuck in my mind.

    Another thought which I have had is to try to pick out the ones that have a subject which is motivically similar to a chant or hymn, e.g. Mode III, #1 is like the start of the psalm tone.
    This is not necessarily a very applicable process, but I have managed to retain an association, for example, between Mode VI, #3 and "In dulci jubilo", and between Mode VIII, #7 and "At the Lamb's High Feast", because I once used these fugues as postludes after these respective hymns.

    It is also interesting to note with these fugues the sort of sub-genre which could be made out of those which have fanfare-like subjects, e.g. Mode VI, #10, or Mode VIII, #6, as well as many others, to a greater or lesser extent.

    Might I also recommend Pachelbel's Ricercare in C minor (p. 5 here), which is one that I usually leave in my binder, for "just in case".
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    Jonathan

    thanx for music. will play this during Easter season.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    Interesting that I have never run across these pieces before. Thanks.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    Charles

    if you don't like Bach you prob won't like pachelbel. I think Bach was heavily influenced by him
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    Actually, I do like certain Bach pieces. I just don't like the way his works are sometimes played, and the unpleasant instruments they are played on.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    hmmm... was this you?

    CharlesW December 2013 Thanks
    Posts: 7,019
    I don't like Bach!!!!!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    Probably was, and in general, it is a true statement. I don't play much at all by him and find some of his works difficult to fit into a Catholic mass. However, even many Lutherans don't celebrate mass as was done in Bach's lifetime. And I thoroughly detest some of the American built reproductions of "authentic" Baroque organs. They are often awful.

    I have some pieces from the Liturgical Year I play - I am getting ready to play one for a funeral next week that was requested by the family. I will play "Christ Lag In Todesbanden," and perhaps "Alle Menschen Mussen Sterban" if time permits. I suspect that some of the Neo-Baroque purists would not like the way I play them, but I don't care - I don't have to care what they think.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    which builders of baroque are on your hate list?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    Anything by Casavant from the 1960s, a local instrument by Richards, Fowkes & Co which may or may not be representative of their overall work. It is the only one I have heard by them. Most of the supposed "Schnitger" clones I have heard I didn't like, which may not be Schnitger's fault.

    I ran across something the other day that I thought true so I will quote, "He was good at destroying the popularity of the pipe organ in America by his narrow minded obsession with neo-Baroque organs." This was about E. Power Biggs and he did exactly that.

    So in general, I like French instruments, either classical or romantic, American Classic instruments, and organs that are more "service" oriented and not built for one type of literature exclusively. Most of us don't play only one type of literature.
    Thanked by 1Steve Collins
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    I'm not a big fan of JSB, but the Pachelbel Magnificat Fugues are really nice. I find the vast majority of Bach is so technical, and complicated, that it just doesn't fit Catholic worship. At its best, it takes people's minds from other meditative subject matter to the music itself - fascination with the organist's performance, etc. OTOH, the Pachelbel blends nicely with other liturgical music.

    I will be doing one slow movement of a Trio Sonata for Easter morning prelude - with my son, Andrew, and another clarinetist playing the manual parts while I just play the pedal part on the manual. It sounded really nice at rehearsal last night. It's something I've wanted to do for years!

    As to "baroque" organs, I really don't like them. I worked with Pieter Visser at Visser-Rowland Assoc. for 22+ years, and I would love to have one in my current parish, but that will never happen. The organ we have is too new to be replaced. VRA organs are warm and clean sounding. Just about anything sounds great on them, but especially service music.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Well, there are those here who, I have heard...or not heard, play only the silent works of composers. They especially appreciate the songs.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    Well, there are those here who, I have heard...or not heard, play only the silent works of composers. They especially appreciate the songs.


    Those are probably big hits with the congregation, LOL.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    Is the VRA at U of Texas at Austin pretty representative? I have heard recordings and it sounds really good.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    Yes, it is very representative, even though the room's acoustics are a compromise.

    I do wish there were more recordings on VRA organs out there. Even YouTube has only a few.

    Where do you live? I can direct you to the closest installation.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    I would suspect there are not many of that brand near East Tennessee. At least, I haven't heard of any.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,003
    There's a 3m tracker at Union U., in Jackson, and another 3m electric in the Baptist church there. They're both OK, but not the epitome of VRA.

    Here is a pretty complete list:
    http://database.organsociety.org/OrganSearch06A.php?BuilderID=6338
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    That is 308 miles from Knoxville and is on the other side of Nashville near west Tennessee. Thanks for the information. The next time I am near there I will try to hear them.
  • Lurking, I love Pachelbel...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    He made great cannon.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    All kidding aside, I have been told by one of our priests to never play the Pachelbel Canon. I think he must have gotten burned out on it at weddings. It was fine with me since I don't think I have ever played it.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • http://youtu.be/MtZjROpBReM

    If it doesn't sound like this, you're doing it wrong. I LOATHE having to do it for weddings >:-(
  • My organist likes it a bit too much, using it for every single special mass (confirmation, easter vigil, first communion, wedding, you name it!) I die from it...
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 794
    I have been using the IMSLP scores for Pachelbel for a while, but have recently purchased a few bound published editions. Still there are no pedal indications specifically on the fugues. Not being an organ scholar, did Pachelbel intend for use of pedal or not? Much of his music can be played with manuals only, but I'd like to know if that was his original intention. I know pedals were more prevalent in Northern organs, but not sure what type of organs Pachelbel had at his disposal. Certainly some of his music is notated on three staves and would require pedal, but much of it is only noted on two staves. Perhaps he was being intentionally flexible?

    P.S. I also really enjoy playing Pachelbel's Toccatas (many of which only require a pedal point!)
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    All of them. I love those pieces and I play them all the time.
    Thanked by 1Salieri