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Thread: Introductory Organ music ??

  1. #16
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    I personally wouldn't introduce someone to organ music by playing Franck's chorales. I'd introduce them to J.S. Bach's BWV 565 ... at least they'll probably know it anyway.
    I quite agree with you, CT64. Besides the complexity of Franck's music there is the matter of the wide hand span required to play some of the chords. My favorite of the Franck Chorales is No. 3 in A Minor which has some of those octave plus a 3rd reach - all which I can do very easily. JS Bach is much easier to start out with - My first studies were the Eight Little Preludes and Fugues in my first year of organ lessons.
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  2. #17
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    If you play 565, then the kind of reaction is goin to be wonderful, but the organ is completely pidgeon-holed and nothing else comes into it. There's plenty to chose from outside Bach as well.

    I like Buxtehude's chaconne in E min for example. A beautiful whistful peice. Gigout's toccata, especially if it's played in a manner such a Roberto Bertero has done. Very effective indeed.

    That is of course from a listening point of view.

    Playing is a different subject altogether.

  3. #18
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster AllanP's Avatar
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    As mentioned previously in this thread, most people relate better to familiar music at first. We need to keep in mind whether we are trying to convert people to liking the organ or pushing the 'proper' point of view.

    Note that the 'proper' point of view is significant to other organists but is not important to a listener who is not a professional organist. In fact, the casual listener will most likely not know whether a given piece was originally written for organ or other instrument.

    To keep our wonderful instrument important in the future, we must introduce more people to the joys of the instrument by starting with more familiar music. This means light classics and more popular music. Later, after the person is 'hooked', we can move to more strictly organ pieces. I notice that organ concert artists are now programming pieces of more general interest than was considered 'proper' a few years ago.

    San Diego has a nice outdoor concert organ in Balboa Park which is played every Sunday. The concerts are always well attended. It has become common to play pieces such as Scott Joplin rags, John Phillip Sousa marches and other music formerly shunned by organists. The audience loves it and is also introduced to the more formal organ music in the same concert. This approach converts more persons to liking organ music than the previous purist approach.

    We must keep in mind the purpose of the concert, is it to perform for other sophisticated organist and listeners or to appeal to a wider audience? The answer to this question will help in selecting appropriate music.

  4. #19
    Rear Admiral Appassionata
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    Yes Allan - I couldn't agree more.

    And I think there is a place for both type of concert and the most successful concerts I've been to from a purely entertainment perspective have included a greater degree of non-organ works.

    I actually think that a fair bit of organ music is quite boring and dull.............

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