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Mander Organs
Jonathan Dods

Not Christmas Music

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Just out of interest can you suggest organ music which was written at Christmas, or has some other Christmas link, but is not Christmas titled or thematic and isn't based on Christmas melodies? 

 

I have a vague memory that there's a big Howells piece written at Christmas, and I've just read that the Clavier-Ubung III might have been first performed in December, which is my tenuous reason for playing some of it on Friday...

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There's lots of French Noels which, although founded on Christmas melodies are not well known to the average British audience.  They should sound wonderful on your instrument, too, but you probably know that already.  I have the Dover edition, which contains a fine selection.  I think IMSLP has one by Mulet, which is worth a look.

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On 19/12/2018 at 19:44, Jonathan Dods said:

I have a vague memory that there's a big Howells piece written at Christmas...

I don't know of any organ piece that Howells wrote actually at Christmas, although the Fugue, Choral and Epilogue was finished about a week before Christmas in 1939.  His Four Anthems ("O pray for the peace of Jerusalem",  "We have heard with our ears", "Like as the hart", "Let God arise") were written in January 1941 while he and Dorothy were "snowed up", as he put it, in a rented house in Cheltenham.

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I agree with wolsey.

Behold, O God our Defender was commissioned for the Queen's Coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. I have a copy of the order of service, the first music in it (pages 2-12) is Parry's I was glad,  the next music  (pages 16-21) is the Howells, the final music (pages 182-3) is Gordon Jacob's arrangement of the National Anthem. On page 21 under the final bars of the Howells is printed Christmas Day, 1952.  I was an 11 year old chorister at Durham Cathedral in 1953 and can't remember when I acquired the Coronation book.

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