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Mander Organ Builders Forum

New Organ Music

Martin Cooke

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Have you discovered [a] David Halls' DVD from Salisbury Cathedral (Priory) and therefore his Salisbury Fanfare and finally [c] the Paraclete Press? David Halls' stuff is well worth exploring - the Fanfare is over in a flash but it's interesting, playable and very effective. The Paraclete website is well worth visiting - you can actually print off whole scores from it including other music by DH - Sound the Trumpet, for example. Worth a look!

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Some recent additions to my repertoire (or, at least, the cupboard) are Gospel Colours 1 by Martin How, 'The Royal Standard' by Malcolm Archer, and Toccata Militaire by Higgs. I'm sure some fellow members have come across these. The Archer and the Higgs are very playable - grade 5/6 - and I think it's fair to say that all except the most esoteric audiences or congregations would enjoy them. I wouldn't say that either is startlingly new but I can see myself happily using them. The How volume is absolutely first class and there is so much to learn from it. For students learning improvisation, composition and harmony, these superbly crafted short pieces would repay some careful thought and analysis and I have found 11 of the 14 of them very compelling. I know that I am going to really enjoy working them up, getting my hands around them and learning from them. They will work happily on organs of all sizes. Do get them - RSCM. If I haven't already mentioned it, you may have seen Archer's 'Lancaster Suite' advertised - this is worth having - I haven't got it to hand, but this does say something new especially in the inner movements which together with the first lie well under the hands - (sorry - I haven't the score with me at home so can't be detailed) - whilst the last movement needs a bit of work with the fingering!


PS - If you haven't already followed my previous recommendation to get the two volumes of Hymn Miniatures by Rebecca Groom de Velde (OUP) then don't forget. My other tip is the volume of organ music by Christopher Tambling published by Dr J Butz in Bonn - each and every piece a winner in every sense and not over difficult at all - grade 5/6 with tinges of 7 just occasionally.

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