Friday, March 22, 2013

March 24, Palm Sunday….  First Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville VA

Prelude-- 3 pieces

Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 557….  J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
     There has been considerable discussion about whether Bach himself wrote the 8 Short Preludes and Fugues.  In any event they are nice, enjoyable and useful pieces.  I rather like the idea that at least some of them were conceived for the pedal clavichord, and play this one in that vein.  Finding a "Hauptwerk" registration that gives clarity in all voices was challenging, as many registers are out of tune. 

Two Verses on “What God Ordains is Always Good”…. Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748)
    The first setting is a contrast between “Oberwerk” and “Ruckpositiv.”   On the rather French Casavant, I use the Positif as the Oberwerk and the Recit as the Ruckpositiv, given the available resources on each.   The second setting is a canon between soprano and bass.  The hands play on the Grand Orgue 4’ Flute and the feet play on the Recit Hautbois with a few select flue stops and the tremulant.  

“Hosanna” from Bible Poems…………..Jaromír Weinberger (1896-1967)
    This short movement was written in 1939 shortly after Weinberger had emigrated from Prague to the United States the second time.  It was written with the typical 4-manual Austin Organs of NYC in mind, as Weinberger was living on Long Island at the time, but seems to want to have the sounds of a WurliTzer. The solo line is played on the Recit Trompette, with foundations and the tremulant added.  The accompaniment is played on Grand Orgue Fonundations (Montre, Rohrflote, Harmonic Flute 4) with 32, 16, and 8’ pedal stops.  The fortissimo full organ sections are accomplished on the Grand Orgue by use of the Crescendo Pedal.   Appropriate for a grand entrance, it ends fortissimo. 

The opening hymn is the traditional “All Glory Laud and Honor”  I am using a fanfare by Joyce Jones as part of the introduction.  Alternate harmonizations are used on the first and last verses. 

Offertory is “Slow March” from the 4th Sonata by William Boyce (1711-1779).  This is found in volume one of “The Village Organist” published by Novello and now in public domain and available from the Sibley Library online.  

Doxology (Old Hundredth) harmonization is from Hymns for the Family of God. 

Postlude is a Chorale Prelude on “All Glory Laud and Honor” by Flor Peeters (1903-1986)
The chorale in four-part harmony is interrupted by single line rhapsodic interludes, very much like Bach’s “In Dulci Jubilo” chorale prelude. 

I’m quite glad that the First Presbyterian Casavant is scheduled to be tuned on April 1 so that it will be ready for the Oratorio Society and guest accompanist Christopher Jacobson.  The top octaves of everything are pretty wildly out of tune. To get any brilliance, the secondary manuals need to be coupled to the Grand Orgue at 4' pitch, so the top octaves of mixtures, 2' stops, and mutations really need to be in tune for the greatest clarity of inner parts.  

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