This month’s question: What is a brief organ piece you play and love, that you think others may not know about?
Eugenia Sullivan – I like to use Woodworks for Organ by Dale Wood Sacred Music Press for “handy dandy” short service pieces based on hymn tunes. They are accessible, not requiring lots of prep time. There are several volumes. Book 3 has a nice “Simple Gifts” and a “St. Columba” arrangement I play often.
Alan MacMillan – Marcel Dupre transcribed, on commission, his 15 Antiphons for “Vespers of Our Lady” op. 18 from a set of improvisations he’d played at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris for the Feast of the Assumption in 1919. The third antiphon, “Nigra sum” is particularly beautiful but not difficult and suitable for a two manual instrument. The music is in public domain in the U.S. and available on IMSLP.org. You may need to search the site under the French “Vepres du commun des Fetes de la Vierge” to get it to come up. It is also included in Rollin Smith’s Adagios for Organ collection as well as a Masters Music Publication of the whole op. 18 set, if you prefer a bound copy. I like to play this antiphon both as a prelude and during Communion.
John Parsons – One of my favorites is a piece called “Andantino” by Henry F Dunham (who was a Hartford organist). It was published in Vox Organi, assembled and edited by Dudley Buck. It is available on IMSLP.org.
Sue Hertel – I like to use “Priere” found in Vingt-quatre Pieces pour Harmonium ou Orgueby Jean Langlais. My copy of many years was published in the U.S. by Elkan-Vogel in Philadelphia.
Natalia Ulyanovsky – 1) “Shenandoah” by Christopher Tambling from Celtic Organ Preludes, Copyright 1966 Kevin Mayhew Ltd.
2) “Blow your trumpet, Gabriel” from Preludes and Paraphrases, new organ music by Neely Bruce; part of CONVERGENCE: Some Parades for Charlie’s Dad
3) Suite für Eine Mechanical Orgel, Adagio by L.V.Beethoven, Hinrichsen Edition No. 1438
4) Toccata prima a guattro by Giovanni Maria Trabaci (1575-1647). Faber Early Organ Series, Faber Music
Vaughn Mauren – “Fidelis” from Four Extemporizations by Percy Whitlock
The Complete Shorter Organ Music – Oxford University Press
Michelle Horsley – I recently played Mary Beth Bennett’s “Partita on Veni Creator Spiritus.” It’s a wonderful set of short variations, ending with a toccata. During the season of Pentecost, I find that it’s a wonderful way of showcasing an organ’s tonal variety. It’s published by Augsburg Fortress and I don’t believe it’s very well known.
Nathan Lively – “Bible Poems” by Jaromir Weinberger