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Advice For A Recital Program


Davidb
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Hi guys, thought i'd ask for some opinions.

 

Next June (so plenty of time) i've been asked to play a concert as part of my town twinning celebrations (50 years or something, i wasn't really paying much attention) but have been asked to give an Organ Recital, looking at about an hour in length. We're twinned with a german town, that is also bringing its orchestra (who is doing the first half) so there would (hopefully) be some musically appreciative people there.

 

Anyway looking for some suggestions for pieces, or themes to go for.

 

I'm currently an alevel student who has got grade8 and is now looking at ARCO, if that also helps

 

 

Thanks for any suggestions

 

db

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Hi David,

 

It would probably be considered polite to play something German. How about JSB fugue in Eb (BWV 522b)? Cheerful, inlellectually stimulating and of an appropriate level of difficulty.

 

Does the twin town have any connection with a published composer? If so, did they write any organ music?

 

It might also be good to play something quintessentially English. Given that most British organ music is, let's face it, not that good, a transcription might be in order. Walton's 'Crown Imperial' or Elgar's 'Pomp & Circumstance' no. 4 (a much better big tune than no. 1 and rather easier to play) would do the trick. Myself, I'd probably steer clear of 'The Dambusters'...

 

You could always try your hand at writing something for the occasion yourself.

 

All the best,

 

Paul.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Hi David,

 

It would probably be considered polite to play something German.  How about JSB fugue in Eb (BWV 522b)?  Cheerful, inlellectually stimulating and of an appropriate level of difficulty.

 

Does the twin town have any connection with a published composer?  If so, did they

write any organ music?

 

It might also be good to play something quintessentially English.  Given that most British organ music is, let's face it, not that good, a transcription might be in order.  Walton's 'Crown Imperial' or Elgar's 'Pomp & Circumstance' no. 4 (a much better big tune than no. 1 and rather easier to play) would do the trick.  Myself, I'd probably steer clear of 'The Dambusters'...

 

You could always try your hand at writing something for the occasion yourself.

 

All the best,

 

Paul.

 

 

I heartily endorse all the above comments.

 

We have a lot of decent UK organ music they would like to hear - Stanley, Walond, Boyce etc. sound very well on organs over there and are easy to register.

Reictals I have done 'over there' I have tried to include some of our lighter numbers - Hollins, Lemare etc. they don't have anything like them (or at least, anything I've ever come across) and something like that can go down very well.

 

You might be wise to expect registration to be more difficult to manage than usual. Variation form often enables one to prepare and handle varied and interesting registrations easier than long continuous movements. There are so many good sets of variations - keeping just to German music: Bach, Buxtehude, Pachelbel and Walther all wrote for the sort of sounds you will have at your disposal.

 

Above all, don't set yourself the task of learning so much difficult music that you won't be able to relax and enjoy it. The odd blockbuster number might be useful, but you don't need more than one or two at most.

 

I'll never forget the first time I got to play Bach on a proper Bach organ. You should certainly make a point of preparing for this. To be honest, it's a poor recital over here if there's no Bach!

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Since David says that the German town is "bringing its orchestra" I assume the recital is to be in Britain.

 

For something quintessentially English and of perfectly passable quality, how about Brewer's March Héroïque? I was actually introduced to this by an organist in Germany, so at least one German likes it! It's in a similar mould to the Pomp & Circumstance marches (tuneful central trio section and all that), but, unlike those, was written for the organ.

 

It would be almost impolite not to do some German music. Depending on what sort of organ you have, a bit of Buxtehude would likely go down well: I'm particularly fond of the P & Fs in G minor and D minor.

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Thanks for the inital ideas guys.

 

Maybe i didn't make it totally clear, but the recital is in this country.

 

I had already thought about Elgar myself. June 2nd is also (i think) his Birthday, so it would make sense - probably no4 as i have played that for a few years now so it needs no work.

 

What about Reger, and some excerpts from the nine pieces? I can play three pieces so add the closing P+F would give a large bit of german for the 'middle'

 

Simon Preston Alleluyas??

 

and probably something lighter like the Hollins (Song of Sunshine, not the concert overture) and Harris Flourish for an occasion.

 

Does that seem realtivley balanced?? Would only need to learn the preston and part of the reger.

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Thanks for the inital ideas guys.

 

Maybe i didn't make it totally clear, but the recital is in this country.

 

I had already thought about Elgar myself. June 2nd is also (i think) his Birthday, so it would make sense - probably no4 as i have played that for a few years now so it needs no work.

 

What about Reger, and some excerpts from the nine pieces? I can play three pieces so add the closing P+F would give a large bit of german for the 'middle'

 

Simon Preston Alleluyas??

 

and probably something lighter like the Hollins (Song of Sunshine, not the concert overture) and Harris Flourish for an occasion.

 

Does that seem realtivley balanced?? Would only need to learn the preston and part of the reger.

 

How about the Two Dialogues by Peter Hurford - or one of them, at least. Not too hard.

 

If you want to stay British, PM me your address and when I finally get around to sending these Anthony Scott pieces out I'll put you on the list!

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Thanks for the inital ideas guys.

 

Maybe i didn't make it totally clear, but the recital is in this country.

 

I had already thought about Elgar myself. June 2nd is also (i think) his Birthday, so it would make sense - probably no4 as i have played that for a few years now so it needs no work.

 

What about Reger, and some excerpts from the nine pieces? I can play three pieces so add the closing P+F would give a large bit of german for the 'middle'

 

Simon Preston Alleluyas??

 

and probably something lighter like the Hollins (Song of Sunshine, not the concert overture) and Harris Flourish for an occasion.

 

Does that seem realtivley balanced?? Would only need to learn the preston and part of the reger.

 

The Germans do seem to hold Reger in very high esteem, so that would be a good choice.

 

What about some Byrd, Gibbons, Bull or Tomkins? They were very influential in their day. Have you considered anything by Kenneth Leighton? It's good stuff and I suspect isn't much played outside the UK.

 

With a German audience I don't think you need worry about frightening the horses. Unlike British audiences, Germans have a concentration span considerably greater than that of a goldfish.

 

Whatever you do, only play pieces you are completely confident of and can perform well.

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It might also be good to play something quintessentially English.  Given that most British organ music is, let's face it, not that good, a transcription might be in order.  Walton's 'Crown Imperial'.....

I would use the "Crown Imperial" as well as it is one of my favourite pieces. But I would also recommend Buxteheude's "Prelude & Fuge in A minor" which I have an MP3 of K.B Kropf playing on the Schnitger organ at Neuenfelde, Hamburg. Very nice piece and comes with my recommendation.

 

Also, how big is the organ? If we are talking a large (IV manual) one then you could try Karg Elert's prelude on "Nan Danket Alle Gott" as a finale.

 

Dave

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Also, how big is the organ? If we are talking a large (IV manual) one then you could try Karg Elert's prelude on "Nan Danket Alle Gott" as a finale.

 

Dave

 

Nice piece that Karg Elert... played it for Harvest this year.

 

The organ is a 3 manual hill norman and beard... full great chorus + 8' trumpet and 2 quiter flutes (8+4)

 

Full swell with the usual minimal selection of strings (voix celeste, viole de gamba) and cornopean + oboe reeds, and quite 8+4 flutes + (sub) octave

 

Choir has usual 8,4,2,1 1/3, gamba and clarinet. + octave

 

Pedal is 16' heavy, but has a trombone that outweighs everything else spectacuarly (you need full great to balance it)

 

so a highly reasonable size

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Given the German connection and the potentially appreciative audience, you could also program matched or, at least, contrasted, chorale preludes. For example, Brahms' prelude on "O wie selig" to Crüger's tune could be set against Willan's prelude based on Stözel's different melody for the same hymn.

 

Alright, Willan migrated to Canada, so perhaps can't be considered 100% English, but what the heck ...

 

Rgds

MJF

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What about the Mozart Church Sonatas? - get their strings to play - these pieces are quite light - good to listen to & one (can't remember the key - possibly F) is like a mini organ concerto. They are published not too expensively and all the string parts come too. One of my former A Level students played it with a school string group. Not British or German but 'would combine you & orchestra.

 

AJJ

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