Organ Voluntaries

Organ Music at Priory Masses, and other Music events in June.


26th: OT 13

A gentle “little” voluntary today – from the Camidge family, who supplied music at York Minster for several generations. This is by Matthew (1764-84) and is the last movement – titled Gavotta – of his second concerto. It’s actually also a Rondo, as the main theme returns often on the Full Organ and the episodes are on the Soft. In modern terms that’s about 60% and 20% of our stops. 


July 3, OT 14    First movement from Sonata No. 2, Hindemith. Written in 1937 by a German Jewish composer who had already been denounced by officialdom for his “degenerate art” the piece is on the brink between confidence and un-easiness.  There are flashes of tension and one very un-nerved page, pianissimo. Being sent out as lambs among wolves probably felt something like this.


July 10, OT 15  Paean (Hymn of praise) Herbert Howells – a busy, slightly driven piece with two main ideas – a fast-moving scale, and a chordal, short “brass band” moment akin to a fanfare. This was written in 1940, and like last week’s voluntary, is not entirely immune from the worries of the period. The ending is triumphant and in the major, after a mainly D-minor-based piece.


July 17, OT 16  S S Wesley’s Choral Song (1842) is a long, winding, harmonised melody with many reiterations of the opening theme. It is serene and beautiful; it is often followed by the fairly long and energetic fugue which will be played at the end of the month.


July 24, OT 17  Vater unser in Himmelreich, the Lord’s Prayer, by J S Bach (BWV 737) is a simple weaving of a fabric from the elements of each line of the hymn, which appears clearly at the top of the texture. It is a dense texture once all the strands have joined in, and solemn, statuesque writing.


July 31, OT 18  This is the completion by Fugue of the S S Wesley Choral Song from July 17th. The fugue is busy, lean and following formulae – until near the end where some inspired key changes wrack up the excitement and the writing becomes more insistent and flamboyant.




Rosemary Field

Rosemary Field