Organ Voluntaries

Organ Music at Priory Masses, and other Music events, in April

ORGAN MUSIC FOR PASSIONTIDE

Tuesday 12th April 5.506.20 pm

at Worksop Priory

A devotional halfhour of music before Mass at 6.30pm

Bach, Couperin, Parry, Hurford and Demessieux

played by Rosemary Field

Simply music with some programme notes for meditation.

Not a concert; just come and be in the space and listen.

April 10th Palm Sunday

Before Mass on Palm Sunday, there will be Bach’s crowd-scene Fantasia presenting the tune we know as All Glory, Laud and honour. [Valet will ich dir geben, BWV 735]. The idea of doing this is to present the flavour of Palm Sunday to those seated in church who miss the whole Gatehouse/Procession moment. There will be time to catch both if you wish – Bach at 9.20 for 4 ½ minutes then time to get to the Gatehouse with enough breath left to sing the processional hymn.

The mood reverts to Passiontide during the liturgy of the Word, and there is no final voluntary.

Saturday April 16th The Easter Vigil, 8pm

After the Easter Vigil, I’m offering something unsuitable (!) for our organ but perfect for the moment – Incantation pour un jour saint, by Jean Langlais, published 1954. It mimics the big congregational shouts of the vigil – The Light of Christ/Thanks be to God; bits of the Litany; and freely-composed material to bind it all together. Starting with the original Lumen Christe melody (3 notes the same, then a drop) it is answered by thunderous pedal Deo gratias (both feet, playing in octaves) representing a large congregation eager to seize the moment. It calls for an enormously rich sound in a cavernous, dark building at 1 in the morning. So bring your imagination with you.

April 17th, Easter Day

Perhaps it’s time for a lollipop after the Lenten Fast: so here comes the Toccata from Symphonie No 5 by Charles-Marie Widor, “the” toccata. In fact it’s the last movement of an involved and thoughtful work, and it makes sense heard as the culmination of those ideas more than it does as a stand-alone piece. It calls for an RSI-proof wrist technique and a deeper, fatter pedal sound than we have, so I may resort to playing some elements an octave lower than written, as have many others!

April 24th, Low Sunday

Low Sunday, but still high triumph. Allegro Marziale by Frank Bridge is a determinedly cheerful piece, with the customary “middle tune” beloved of English march writers. Bridge (1879-1941) is said to have composed everything in his head and then written it down in one take. He was awarded a scholarship to study with Stanford in 1899, being a violin student at the RCM at the time. This piece dates from 1903-5 and lacks any trace of bombast; like many Stanford works, it has a sunny quality.