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Crowd Pleasers


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Following on from GP's thread about playing to the gallery, I thought I'd ask for opinions about 'crowd pleasers'. By this I mean pieces of legitimate organ music that an uninitiated crowd might be likely to get into even if they haven't heard them before*. Pieces like Vierne's Carillion de Westminster, Mushel's toccata or the Lanquetuit toccata that has been discussed here recently.

 

I'm especially interested to hear of lesser known music that you have found has gone down well whenever you have played it.

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

*So I'm excluding (for the purposes of this thread) transcriptions like Thunderbirds.

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Following on from GP's thread about playing to the gallery, I thought I'd ask for opinions about 'crowd pleasers'. By this I mean pieces of legitimate organ music that an uninitiated crowd might be likely to get into even if they haven't heard them before*. Pieces like Vierne's Carillion de Westminster, Mushel's toccata or the Lanquetuit toccata that has been discussed here recently.

 

I'm especially interested to hear of lesser known music that you have found has gone down well whenever you have played it.

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

*So I'm excluding (for the purposes of this thread) transcriptions like Thunderbirds.

 

I find most Whitlock always puts a smile on peoples faces!

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This could be a very long thread! Of course there are all those popular toccatas:

 

The Widor

The Dubious

The Jigout

BWV 565

 

Not to mention other old warhorses:

 

Alain: Litanies

Karg-Elert: Nun danket (the "fireworks" voluntary, as one priest recently described it to me after all the upward rushes)

Yon: Toccatina

Bovet: Salamanca (or his Hamburger Totentanz)

 

Loads of others of course, but I'm too tired to think.

 

20th-Century Organ Music from Russia nd Eastern Europe (Peters) contains a toccata by Sergej Slonimsky that is bitonal but immense fun. It sounds best on a big organ with incisive tone and prompt action.

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I find most Whitlock always puts a smile on peoples faces!

 

It can be nice but an unrelieved diet of Whitlock can pall the pallett. I quite often think Whitlock is for the organ what Roger Quilter is for the voice. While they are very charming and beautiful, they are relatively unknown outside their chosen medium and the style of early 20th century gentlemanly English lyricism is quite specialised: I sometimes feel their elegant lines are not always immediately attractive to some of the unintiated or those with simpler tastes.

 

What about lollipops like Rawsthorne's Hornpipe humoresque? The Bach Jig fugue is always quite a crowd pleaser. The Bossi scherzo is also good - actually, most scherzos work well, maybe even the more chromatically tortured Vierne scherzos.

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I don't play the organ, or anything else for that matter, but I'm a regular recital-goer and avid collector of recordings. I'd like to think that some of the following pieces might be well received as part of a recital. I've certainly enjoyed them. In no particular order:

 

Toccata on 'Now thank we all our god' by Egil Hovland

Mozart Changes by Zsolt Gardonyi

The piece Derek Bourgeois wrote for his wedding, but I can't remember what it's called. I'm sure you all know the one

Elves by Bonnet

Prelude and Fugue in G major BWV 541

An Elf in my Bonnet by Richard Francis

A Song of Sunshine by Alfred Hollins

Penguins Playtime by Nigel Odgen

Alles was du bist by Billy Nalle

 

etc etc. I could go on far too long.

 

Dr Alan Spedding has been playing some pieces by Davide Da Bergamo (apologies if spelt incorrectly) in his recitals and these have been well received and great fun.

 

Hope there's something useful here.

 

Best Wishes

 

PF

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The piece Derek Bourgeois wrote for his wedding, but I can't remember what it's called. I'm sure you all know the one

 

 

Aaaaaaagh! - Serenade? - the piece drives me totally up the wall!

 

AJJ :)

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There's rather a splendid Wedding March by Dr Spedding which my brother in law played in a recital recently - I hadn't heard it before, but now I find I must try to get hold of a copy!

 

Otherwise, perhaps Romance sans paroles - Bonnet.

Wesley - Choral Song and Fugue

Hollins - Trumpet Tune

Second mvt. of 3e Symphonie - Sibelius (transcr.)

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Guest Stanley Monkhouse

T A Volckmar 1686-1768 - Sonata V in G. Rather a wheeze. Recorded by Martin Rost at Marienkirche, Stralsund.

Hollins Grand Choeur - both of them, G minor and C major. Lovely, tuneful, substantial.

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Wesley - Choral Song and Fugue

 

Hi

 

But to play that as the composer intended, you really need a GG-compass organ. I'll probably play the Choral Song on our chamber organ next March when we are due a visit from the Bradford Organists' assoc.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Two completely unoriginal suggestions - Rutter's Toccata in Seven and Lang's Tuba Tune. Maybe not the finest music technically but very listenable to.

 

Of the voluntaries I have played since Easter, I got most comments of approval about Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary, which was slightly unexpected, so I'll schedule it in again sometime before the end of the year.

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For the technically challenged, two dead easy ones that I'm sure would go down well (though I've not actually tried them) are Britten's quite haunting Prelude to "They Walk Alone" and Stanley Vann's A Tender Spiritual (the latter in a Mayhew volume called Service Music for Organ). The Britten is even easier than Flor Peeter's Aria and the Vann is about the same level.

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  • 1 month later...
in addition to Bovet's Hamburger Totentanz there is his fugue on the Pink Panther... short and sweet and best of all, usable on almost any instrument.

 

 

Churchmouse

 

Who publishes this please?

 

AJJ

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Following on from GP's thread about playing to the gallery, I thought I'd ask for opinions about 'crowd pleasers'. By this I mean pieces of legitimate organ music that an uninitiated crowd might be likely to get into even if they haven't heard them before*. Pieces like Vierne's Carillion de Westminster, Mushel's toccata or the Lanquetuit toccata that has been discussed here recently.

 

I'm especially interested to hear of lesser known music that you have found has gone down well whenever you have played it.

 

Best wishes

 

J

 

*So I'm excluding (for the purposes of this thread) transcriptions like Thunderbirds.

Lemmens' Fanfare always goes down well with the punters. However, although I wouldn't say it's not well known, it doesn't seem to get much of an airing these days.

 

Rgds

MJF

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Hi Alistair,

will have to dig it out and see - in midst of getting windows double-glazed so house is almost literally upside down! May take a little while

Churchmouse

 

Thanks - but don't worry now - 'nice email yesterday from Bovet - Editions Schola Cantorum.

 

Cheers

A

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