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Other new repertoire

Martin Cooke

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Another recent discovery has been a small volume of Christmas organ pieces based on popular carols by Maureen Howell - it's about £16 here in the UK, so not very cheap for four items. I saw the recommendation in - I think - an RSCM publication, and I have to say, all four are worth a look. They are based on Once in Royal, Of the Father's Heart, On Christmas Night, and God rest ye merry, gentlemen. The second mentioned is a bit tricky as it combines the tune of the Sussex Carol with that of Ding dong! with the latter in the feet with four against three going on. If in these current straitened times anyone needing more material for Christmas might find all four pieces catchy, useful and enjoyable.

Then, for some time, I have been on the mailing list of Fagus Music which is run by Geoffrey Atkinson. He has some very worthwhile items in his catalogue - anything by Paul Edwards (of No small wonder fame) is worth investigation, and I have recently discovered Stephen Burtonwood. His Arioso would make an excellent introduction to his music - ideal pre-service or during Communion, or if you are playing at an All Souls or Remembrance service soon. Much music can be emailed to you which keeps costs down. However, speaking of Paul Edwards, one first class liturgical piece of his that can't be sent by email is his Contemplation. This is a hymn tune prelude on the tune of that name (to the words, When all thy mercies.) This is one of those luxuriant adagios that I posted about a few years ago. It was originally published in a purple IAO celebratory compendium - probably 10/12 years ago. 

I am keen to stress that I am not in any sense an agent of Fagus - but I do recommend a rummage on the website. You will find Geoffrey a friendly and helpful person, too. Just before lockdown he had just published this. Sadly,  I haven't had a chance to use any of these hymn arrangements, but we live in hope. Geoffrey sends out a newsletter/email every so often and I was very struck by his last one, received a few days ago which suggested that most activity had dried up. In my view his publishing venture is well worth support!

Finally, we all enjoyed Jonathan Scott's prom recently. On the brothers' webpage, you can see and obtain a whole range of their organ arrangements. Again, well worth a look.

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