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S.S. Wesley's Organ Music


Philip
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Being his anniversary year, I'd be interested to hear what of Wesley's organ music people play and what is worth learning. The only piece I really know is the 'Choral Song', but I'd like to do something else to commemorate his anniversary. Any suggestions?

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Being his anniversary year, I'd be interested to hear what of Wesley's organ music people play and what is worth learning. The only piece I really know is the 'Choral Song', but I'd like to do something else to commemorate his anniversary. Any suggestions?

 

I am writing this from school (!) so can't check my cupboard for exact names: there is a charming Larghetto and Variations in F# minor, and (unless I am confused with S Wesley) an Andante in E minor. Both with independent pedal parts, worth learning and with one or two intricacies to keep you concentrating.

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. . . and furthermore, the Larghetto was originally a Novello (ed Chambers) edition - mine is of the time that has the old pinkish cover with the St Cecilia window down the LH side; the Andante in E minor (which I now see is indeed S S Wesley) is in the Tallis to Wesley series, and there is also an Andante in G which I recall is less interesting than the E minor one.

Also, my father once had an LP on which I am sure Simon Lindley had recorded an S S Wesley Introduction and Fugue in C# minor - but I have never seen nor heard of the piece since.

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The Introduction and Fugue in C sharp minor is a fine work - rather fiddly in places.

 

I have a Novello edition edited by Robin Langley which includes a number of Andantes (F, Em, A, G, C), the famous Holsworthy Church Bells, and the aforementioned Larghetto and Introduction and Fugue. I got it from Musicroom.com for a cheap price. I'm sure there would be something in there you're looking for.

 

VA

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The Andante in F is a particular favourite. It's quite long and sprawling but it explores some wonderfully far-flung harmonic corners, builds to a mighty climax and fits beautifully under the fingers. The pedal part is relatively straightforward (always a consideration for those of us with tired feet) and it fits onto a modest two manual with ease.

 

MKR

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The Introduction and Fugue in C sharp minor is a fine work - rather fiddly in places.

 

I have a Novello edition edited by Robin Langley which includes a number of Andantes (F, Em, A, G, C), the famous Holsworthy Church Bells, and the aforementioned Larghetto and Introduction and Fugue. I got it from Musicroom.com for a cheap price. I'm sure there would be something in there you're looking for.

 

VA

I am tempted by having all that in one volume, even though it will give me a couple of double copies, in addition to new music . . but I must be doing something wrong: I cannot locate it on the Musicroom site. VA, can you please tell me the exact title?

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Stephen beat me to it - indeed that is the volume I have. It has quite a thorough critical commentary at the beginning, as well as details of the pieces themselves. However, that is a very grand cover - mine is a 'special order edition' with the typical blue cover.

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Larghetto and Variations in F# minor...

Introduction and Fugue in C sharp minor.....

 

"A curious feature of his career is his aversion to equal temperament, an aversion he kept for decades after this tuning method had been accepted on the Continent and even in most of England."....from his Wikipedia entry.

 

Wow, when did they start tuning English organs in equal temperament in the 19th century? SSW was writing at the height of the Victorian era so how were organs of his day tuned? I'd hate to hear how these pieces sound in meantone!

 

Contrabombarde

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Larghetto and Variations in F# minor...

Introduction and Fugue in C sharp minor.....

 

"A curious feature of his career is his aversion to equal temperament, an aversion he kept for decades after this tuning method had been accepted on the Continent and even in most of England."....from his Wikipedia entry.

 

Wow, when did they start tuning English organs in equal temperament in the 19th century? SSW was writing at the height of the Victorian era so how were organs of his day tuned? I'd hate to hear how these pieces sound in meantone!

 

Contrabombarde

Equal temperament was known but abhorred for centuries. Cavaille-Coll's first magnum opus at St Denis was tuned in unequal temperament (and is today). But unequal doesn't mean exclusively meantone; well-tempered doesn't mean equal (tho try telling that to our local organists' association...)

 

This site is worth a browse (wearing a large anorak, obviously):

http://www.rollingball.com/TemperamentsFrames.htm

It gives examples of no fewer than seven 'Victorian Well' tempered systems.

 

Enjoy :huh:

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  • 3 months later...
The current Organists' Review has some very interesting articles about Wesley.

 

P

 

Hi

 

Does anyone here know of anything written by S.S. Wesley for Harmonium? I know about the Samuel Wesleys "5 pieces for the Royal Seraphim" - it's S.S. that I'm interested in.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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