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Organ and Viola


justinf
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A friend asked me to play for her daughter's wedding later this year. She is a talented violist and would like to include a duet as part of the service, but she doesn't have any music in mind. If you know of any pieces pairing organ and viola, or others which could reasonably be adapted, I would be glad of your suggestions.

 

The organ in question is a modest two manual instrument with a quasi-Germanic specification (Pommer, Krummhorn, Fagott, etc.) and a bright principal chorus. Its second manual is under expression and includes some softer voices, including a celeste, so if I play my cards right I can avoid overpowering her viola or tiring the ears of the happy assembled.

 

Thank you all! Justin

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Try Bach Gamba sonata in G, or Telemann, or Handel.

 

More or less, with that organ spec. anything for hpschd and gamba should work with appropriate sensitivity in registration.

 

We (my wife, who is a viola player) have done this in concerts for several years now, and they go well.

 

There are other pieces, but perhaps a tad too romantic for the organ you will use on the occasion in question.

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Thank you, drd; I will look into those right away. I guess I can cross off my list the (PDQ) Bach "Sonata for Viola Four Hands and Harpsichord." Whew! --Justin

 

I think there are all sorts of possibilities. Cantilene from Rheinberger 11; Some of the Harvey Grace Bach Cantata movement transcriptions - there's a famous one in F major with a low (LH) solo line - sorry can't remember the title, but I could e-copy it to you if you wish. Have you got the blue OUP Music for Funerals album? - another piece in here transcribed by CH Trevor - E flat major; Some of those lyrical numbers from the Kevin Mayhew range might also work - Malcolm Archer, Noel Rawsthorne, et al - obviously by just giving the tune to the viola. It will all take a bit of jiggling about and writing out for the viola, of course. Have you got the OUP Wedding Music album - ed Robert Gower or is it the Ceremonial Music one he edited - in there another well known piece in E flat 6/8 - tune against lilting chords - easily adaptable. Bach - Erbarm dich mein O Herr Gott - Novello Volume 18 and also Herzlich thut mich verlangen from the same album. You could do a lot worse, if you live near a music shop, of having a thumb through the Associated Board music for Viola grade 4 upwards (it doesn't need to be difficult to be effective) in case there are any good slow movements from, say, Handel, that could be adapted for organ accompaniment. What about a Flor Peeters slow movement from one of the suites - or even the Aria?

 

Hope that's some help - happy to copy you the first mentioned Bach items if you wish but you must let me know today (and send me an email address) as I will be parted from my organ music for a week once half term arrives on Saturday!

 

POSTSCRIPT:

 

Eek!!! Sorry!... I've just re-read your opening post and realise it's a WEDDING you're playing for - I've blundered on here thinking it was a funeral!! Well, several of these suggestions would do - not the Bach transcriptions or chorale preludes, but the piece in 6/8, the Rheinberger, some Archer or Rawsthorne, the Peeters - I'd deffo look in the Associated Board stuff but probably for a couple of quick movements instead of the slow ones. What about the well known Bach transcriptions - Jesi Joy, Subdue us by thy goodness, Sheep may safely graze, Air on a G string - all in OUP Wedding or Ceremonial Music albums. All the best and sorry to have muddled things!

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Hi Martin -- Would it were a funeral! I have always found them to be much more congenial affairs: no anxious mother of the bride, no Wagner, no requests to accompany cousin Sheila as she sings "The Rose". :lol: I do have the Gower at home, and I very much appreciate the suggestions and well wishes. Thanks!

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  • 2 months later...

Here's a brief after-action report: The violist had her heart set on the Bach Air from Suite No. 3 and the Canon in D, both of which she played very well indeed. For my part, I am heartily grateful to the forward-thinking individual who put a Gemshorn on the Great. Paired with a flute it made a passable soft principal and kept me out of the Schreiendwerk.

 

Everything went off without a hitch -- hm, maybe a poor choice of phrase for a wedding -- and I do want to thank the board again for its suggestions.

 

Justin

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