Saturday, May 26, 2007

Organ Music for Pentecost

I am about to run out to the cathedral here in Philadelphia, where I'll be playing both the Saturday and Sunday evening Masses this weekend. Before I did that, I thought I'd post some wonderful organ pieces appropriate to Pentecost, in case anyone should be looking for fresh ideas.

--Bach has written a number of settings of Komm, Gott Schopfer, Heiliger Geist (Come, God Creator, Holy Ghost) which can be found in the Orgelbuechlein and also in the Leipzig Manuscripts. A number of them are in triple meter, with emphasis on the three's, a musical illustration of the fact that the Holy Ghost is the Third Person of the Trinity.

--Durufle wrote a wonderful setting of variations on the hymn Veni Creator, which Jeffrey Tucker posted the other day. There is also a publication of a transcript of one of Marcel Dupre's improvisations on this same melody, though in my opinion it is not really one of Dupre's stronger works.

Finally, here are the pieces I'm playing this weekend:

--Bach Prelude and Fugue in c minor, BWV 549. The frightful prelude begins with a magnificent pedal solo. The fugue is spritely but relatively easy for a Bach fugue.

--Boellmann Suite Gothique. The bombastic first movement gives way to a wonderful minuet. This is not unlike the relationship between the prelude and fugue of the Bach composition. Both, I think, illustrate well the various aspects of the events of Pentecost: the wind, the fire, and the workings of the Holy Spirit. The final movement of the Boellmann is also quite appropriate. It reminds me of Dupre's Prelude and Fugue in g minor, and it sounds a bit "ghostly."

A Happy Pentecost to you all.

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