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Mander Organs

Guidance For Voluntaries During Lentq


martin_greenwood

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Last year, one of them, after preaching the world's most boring and incoherent sermon for 25 minutes said "I'd better stop in a few minutes or the organist will say that I've gone on too long".

Good grief. And they wonder why organists are hard to find. :lol:

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Back to the point. I always ask visiting preachers at my first church to keep their sermon within 10 minutes, and remind them that I have another job to get to. Some of them are very good, and some are awful. I think a lot of them are used to preaching to small congregations and, when faced with a congregation much larger than they're used to, view it as an opportunity to show off to a large captive audience. Last year, one of them, after preaching the world's most boring and incoherent sermon for 25 minutes said "I'd better stop in a few minutes or the organist will say that I've gone on too long". I was about to reply when one of the congregation beat me to it and loudly said "You have!". Bless them!

 

I was as amazed as Vox. I am fairly certain that if I tried this, at best I would have to endure a sticky five minutes in the vestry with the rector after the service; or, at worst, I might have to seek out a colonial appointment.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Perhaps there is scope here for the organist and priest to come to an agreement that, at the end of Eucharist and Evensong the congregation will remain seated and reflective while the organist plays a quiet outgoing voluntary such as Bach's Liebster Jesu, or the Bach/Krebs double-pedal setting of An Wasserflüssen Babylon. Now that would put the cat among the pigeons.

 

An excellent solution!

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Oh dear - Lent is meant to be thoughtful, not miserable.

 

 

=================================

 

Forty days and forty nights in a rocky desert is not my idea of delerious joy; contemplation or no contemplation.

 

The nearest I got to this was after playing a recital at a quite major venue; following which I missed the last bus home. I thus spent 6 hours in a bus shelter in the pouring rain.

 

I once did something similar in Rochdale (not an organ recital as it 'appened). I walked 36 miles on a pitch-black night, in the chill of Autumn, over the pennines.

 

A moment of thoughtful contemplation tells me that these were MISERABLE experiences.

 

:(

 

MM

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I find this a very interesting comment. I'm not disputing it for one moment - it makes perfect sense - but I'd be grateful for some kind of reference or authority. Hopefully, you can remember where you saw it. Thanks.

I was told that a long time ago - it might have been from Conrad Eden in the late 60's. I'll have to dig for it and any substantiation. I'm away until 1st Feb so it will be a couple of weeks before I track it down.

 

M

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And the Sarabande in modo elegiaco.
Which was originally titled 'Sarabande for Good Friday' to match the 'Sarabande for Easter'.

This does seem to be correct. On p.150 of his book Herbert Howells: A Centenary Celebration, Christopher Palmer mentions in a footnote (to a discussion of the Stabat mater):

 

"What is beyond dispute is that, for whatever reason, the idea of the Crucifixion and the form of the saraband were linked in HH's mind. The 'Sarabanda in Modo Elegiaco' - no 5 of the Six Pieces for Organ - was originally subtitled 'for Good Friday'. The date of completion was September 16 1945 - 10 days after the 10th anniversary of Michael's death (September 6 1935)."

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Personally, I dig out Bach chorale preludes and play those during Lent. Most of the congregation won't take any notice, but you'll enjoy yourself playing them! :angry:

 

Can anyone tell me why Bach included no Lent preludes (other than the wonderful Passiontide ones, of course) in the Orgelbüchlein? I don't think there were any planned either, or were there? Was Lent important in the Lutheran church at the time? What chorales were sung in Lent?

 

I like to play the 1st movement of Mendelssohn Sonata 3 (Aus Tiefer Not) and Sonata 1. Also the Andriessen Variations for no good reason except that I like them, they're easy and they sound solemn.

 

Stephen Barber

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Actually, by far the worst are visiting clergy, who are unable to grasp, so it would seem, that we normally follow the Mass with a Choral Matins and there simply is not time for a sermon which lasts at least twenty-two minutes. Aside from the fact that I view this as sheer self-indulgence on the part of the preacher in question, it means that we start Matins somewhat later than the advertised time. This also affects the start of the said Mass at noon - which also has to begin late.

 

Apparently, our Rector does warn visiting clergy that the sermon should last no longer than ten minutes. I can only assume that they either forget - or choose to ignore - his request.

 

Lengthy sermons can really defeat their own object; it is the same with appeals. Our parish supports mission orders such as the White Fathers and various other orders dedicated to specific work. Sometimes representatives of these orders will come and make an appeal at Masses for funds, and it seems that the generosity of the congregation is inversely proportionate to the length of the appeal. An appeal of, say, 10 minutes might get you a grudging two quid. 15 minutes and you're lucky to get one pound. But two mnutes guarantees you a healthy stack of fivers!

 

 

Peter

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Can anyone tell me why Bach included no Lent preludes (other than the wonderful Passiontide ones, of course) in the Orgelbüchlein? I don't think there were any planned either, or were there? Was Lent important in the Lutheran church at the time? What chorales were sung in Lent?

 

I am reminded in the preface of my Bärenreiter edition of the Orgelbüchlein that the collection was intended by Bach to be an organist's compendium of chorale arrangements for the entire church year. He inscribed the title pages of 164 chorales beforehand, of which only 46 were completed. The titles of the uncompleted chorales are given in the Bärenreiter edition, and settings of 'Aus tiefer Not' and 'Erbarm dich mein' - two Lent chorales I'm aware of - were intended.

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I am reminded in the preface of my Bärenreiter edition of the Orgelbüchlein that the collection was intended by Bach to be an organist's compendium of chorale arrangements for the entire church year. He inscribed the title pages of 164 chorales beforehand, of which only 46 were completed. The titles of the uncompleted chorales are given in the Bärenreiter edition, and settings of 'Aus tiefer Not' and 'Erbarm dich mein' - two Lent chorales I'm aware of - were intended.

 

Yes, but there are no Preludes between "Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf" (for the Feast of the Purification) and "O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig" (for Passiontide) and nor did Bach inscribe any title pages between them. Why not? Was Lent not kept or was the organist not allowed to play preludes during the first part of Lent?

 

The 2 preludes you mention were going to follow "Vater Unser", and were not intended, presumably, to be part of the cycle for the Liturgical Year, however suitable for Lent they seem to be.

 

Stephen Barber

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I am reminded in the preface of my Bärenreiter edition of the Orgelbüchlein that the collection was intended by Bach to be an organist's compendium of chorale arrangements for the entire church year. He inscribed the title pages of 164 chorales beforehand, of which only 46 were completed. The titles of the uncompleted chorales are given in the Bärenreiter edition, and settings of 'Aus tiefer Not' and 'Erbarm dich mein' - two Lent chorales I'm aware of - were intended.

 

Actually, according to Peter Williams' book, Erbarm dich mein was a chorale for the 3rd, 11th, 14th, and 22nd Sundays after Trinity, not Lent (although we, of course, associate Ps 51 with Lent and BWV 721 is very suitable for it).

 

Aus tiefer Not was apparently a burial and communion hymn, but was also associated with Palm Sunday, Trinity 21 and Trinity 22).

 

There seem to be no cantatas for Lent except Lent 3. I am beginning to think that there was no organ music between Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday in the Lutheran church at the time. I was hoping someone would confirm or deny this but I know this thread is an old one (it took me a long time to get validated so that I could post!) and really on the wrong forum.

 

Stephen Barber

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I certainly recall reading at some time that there was no instrumental music allowed in the Lutheran church during Lent in Bach's time, with the exception of the Passions. I think the evidence points towards this being true.

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Actually, according to Peter Williams' book, Erbarm dich mein was a chorale for the 3rd, 11th, 14th, and 22nd Sundays after Trinity, not Lent (although we, of course, associate Ps 51 with Lent and BWV 721 is very suitable for it).

 

Aus tiefer Not was apparently a burial and communion hymn, but was also associated with Palm Sunday, Trinity 21 and Trinity 22).

 

There seem to be no cantatas for Lent except Lent 3. I am beginning to think that there was no organ music between Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday in the Lutheran church at the time. I was hoping someone would confirm or deny this but I know this thread is an old one (it took me a long time to get validated so that I could post!) and really on the wrong forum.

 

Stephen Barber

 

 

I suspect practice varied from place to place, as each town or city would have had its own 'Kirchenordnung'. Present-day Lutheran hymnbooks, incidentally, have no section specifically for Lent, ie there is nothing between 'Epiphanias' and 'Passion'. And the chorales in the latter section are very much in Passiontide vein, beginning with 'O Mensch bewein' followed by 'O Lamm Gottes' etc.

 

JS

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I suspect practice varied from place to place, as each town or city would have had its own 'Kirchenordnung'. Present-day Lutheran hymnbooks, incidentally, have no section specifically for Lent, ie there is nothing between 'Epiphanias' and 'Passion'. And the chorales in the latter section are very much in Passiontide vein, beginning with 'O Mensch bewein' followed by 'O Lamm Gottes' etc.

 

JS

Indeed.

 

The textbook that was used for liturgy in my first year of study in the church music department in Vienna, 'Einfuehrung in die Liturgik', notes that 'As each Sunday [in Lent] is a small Easter celebration, the Sundays do not belong to Lent.' In this respect, the Anglican and Lutheran traditions are close. My memory of this season was that hymns were chosen to work with the readings or were general praise hymns, however there must be people reading this who remember better than I do.

 

Even though I studied in the Lutheran stream, I worked in a RC church, and during Lent I'd partially close the wings on the organ - the facade pipes being symbolic of God's son, who disappeared into the wilderness for the 40 days of temptation.

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