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Voluntary in A Minor-Stanley/Coleman


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I wonder, please, if anyone is able to let me know where I may obtain a copy of the Coleman arrangement of Stanley's Voluntary in A minor, op 6 nr 2. Condition not important so long as it is legible! Some of the usual secondhand organ music sites don't appear to list it.

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I think there are times when an arrangement sounds more effective. If, for example, the instrument doesnt have the resources specified - like a Cornet - or a bigger sound is appropriate in a particular building. Or, indeed, equal temperament tuning blots out the inherent harmonic filling and makes the whole thing sound thin. I play some items from this period in the original versions, some in arrangements, and some in either, to suit the occasion. I sometimes rearrange the arrangements, too, usually in the direction of thinning them out a bit.

 

"All performances are, to some extent, arrangements" - discuss!

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A fair question, Tony, which I can only answer on quite unacademic grounds! For many years I had the pleasure of being organist at a church with two organs - one a moderate sized romantic 3 manual; the other a fine little single manual 1845 Bevington. This splendid little instrument was sited so that its sound filled the building, often fooling people into thinking that the larger organ was being used. And yes, I happily played Tomkins, Gibbons, Locke, Purcell, Blow, Stanley, and so many others, on the Bevington - and as they were written, not in arrangements.

But there is a warm, fuzzy, romantic side to me - my own now deceased teacher learned from Harold Darke, and others of his style, and at one stage I was quite accustomed to hear my teacher play old fashioned romantic 'big Bach' - swell boxes and all. We all knew that that this was "naughty Bach" but under the hands of a fine player I must admit it was fun to hear. A little time ago I was driving to work and had a sudden run of freely moving traffic in the peak hour crawl. I was listening to my then newly acquired CD release of the 1960s Great Cathedral Organ series and on came Statham playing the Stanley /Coleman arrangement, at Norwich. What can I say? Perhaps it was the combination of the rare burst of speed in morning traffic, or the mood I was in, or the volume, but I had the urge to learn to play that arrangement....and still do! I have the manual only version and used that recently at an evening service, but the big version beckons still.

 

(And yes, I do turn up the bass when I listen to organ music in the car!).

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