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Mander Organs
OrganistOnTheHill

Books about organ

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I won two prizes at my school which allows me to receive a book prize (just has to be under 30 quid). Are there any publications out there that are really helpful for an aspiring organist?

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This - if your pocket can stretch to it.  It's quite a voluminous book and not cheap (I don't think the book ever has been), but it is worth every penny, not just for the detailed information about Vierne, but because of the light it sheds on the whole organ world of his time. If you are into French Romantic organ music you'll find this invaluable. 

This study of Franck's organ music by the same author is also quite interesting, but more narrowly focused and perhaps of more scholarly than general interest (and why the paperback costs such a ludicrous sum is beyond me). Perhaps a book for later.

For Bach, I warmly recommend this book by the late Peter Williams, even though it's not specifically about organ music.  A more recent book by Prof Williams was published two years ago. I have not read it, but from the blurb I suspect it may be less broad in concept. Perhaps others can comment.

The last volume of Williams's seminal three-volume study of Bach's organ music is still available, but now needs supplementing with the prefaces to the new Breitkopf edition (which are available free on the form's website).

The New Bach Reader also ought to be on every organist's shelf too (and, as might be expected, is preferable to the original Bach Reader) - but at this stage it's probably one to bear in mind for later. It consists largely of primary source material for Bach's life (most of which is studiously avoided in Amazon's "look inside" facility). 

Stephen Bicknell's The History of the English Organ is an essential reference for its subject.

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I first saw that book at the local library about 40 years ago and enjoyed reading it.  I have often thought about obtaining a copy but, of course, it is now out of print.  Imagine my joy when I saw second hand copies available on your link.

I have just bought a copy from Amazon for a little over £20.  Thanks for the link!

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