Saturday, April 30, 2022

Zachau

Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau (Zachow) (1663-1712) was a German musician and composer. According to Wikipedia,  he was George Friderick Handel’s first music teacher. 

I first saw his name in a book of liturgical organ chorales, ORGELCHORALE IM KIRCHENJAHR, which I got in Tokyo more than thirty years ago. The book has 71 short chorale preludes arranged by a number of composers. 

One of the first pieces in it that I learned to play was Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr (All Glory Be to God on High). The following is a recording of this piece I played on the electronic keyboard in my room.










Friday, April 29, 2022

YORKSHIRE

In search of a topic starting with the letter Y, I turned to the index of my hymnals, and found a tune called "YORKSHIRE", which I had never sung before. I played it on the electronic organ a few times, and then recorded it.  





This tune was composed by John Wainwright (1723-1768), an English church organist and composer. It was written for the text "Christians, awake! salute the happy morn".

 

Links:


 




 

#Sky Watch Friday: April 29, 2022

 


I got up very early yesterday, and I went for a walk in the fog. Walking along the river, I tried taking a picture, and my camera seemed to see farther than I. 😊




Skywatch Friday


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Xmas

X is for Xmas. 

I am going to post a recording of a Xmas chorale prelude, Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ (O Jesu Christ, All Praise to Thee), arranged by Christian Heinrich Rinck.







Links:








 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Walther

Walther, Johann Gottfried  (1684-1748)
-- a German music theorist, organist, composer, and lexicographer 

My music books have a number of chorale preludes arranged by Johann Gottfried Walther, and my favorite piece among them is a variation of JESU MEINE FREUDE (Jesus, Priceless Treasure). 

 





It took me a long time to learn to play this piece decades ago. I practiced it countless times, until one day I found myself playing it without making any (noticeable) mistakes. I was overjoyed. This beautiful prelude is worth the time and effort. 



links:






Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Vetter

Vetter, Andreas Nikolaus   (1666-1734)
-- a German organist and composer

Today I am going to post a recording of a chorale prelude arranged by Andreas Nikolaus Vetter, NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND (Savior of the Nations, Come).





NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND is my favorite chorale for Advent, and I often play this prelude in early December.

For more information about the composer and the chorale, see


 


Monday, April 25, 2022

UXBRIDGE

Looking for a topic starting with the letter U, I turned to the index of one of my hymnals, and found the tune named UXBRIDGE, which I had never heard before. I played it on the electronic keyboard, and searched the Internet for information about this tune. It was composed by Lowell Mason (1792-1872), an American music director and banker. According to Hymnary.org, Mason is known as "the father of American church music." 

The lyrics sung to this tune includes The Heavens Declare Your Glory, Lord.







Links:







Saturday, April 23, 2022

#Thankful: April 23, 2022

 

  • Spring stars in front of our house are in bloom.
  • I am thankful that I played the reed organ for the choir at the Easter worship service last Sunday. 
  • I am glad to see the 6-month-old granddaughter of K*. 
  • Miss G*has got better and left the hospital, where she was treated for more than three months.
  • I am thankful for my current unquenchable desire to clean our house thoroughly.  
  • I have got rid of most of the dusty empty boxes in the store room.  
  • I have organized a closet today, and rediscovered a number of beautiful overcoats that belonged to my late mother.  -- I had totally forgotten about them until then. I tried them on, and they looked good on me. I don't have to buy a new coat next winter. 
  • Also, I have decluttered the closet and I am ready to get rid of the clothes I no longer need. 
  • I am thankful for the mugwort-flavored cake that we had last Thursday. 
  • We had buckwheat noodles for supper today.







Travers

Travers, John  (1703-1758)
-- an English composer and organist


One of my books has two very short works written by John Travers, and that is all I know about this composer. The following is a recording of one of them, titled "Largo d", which is 12 bars long.





This may be a part of a longer voluntary, but so far, I haven't been able to find any information related to this phrase, except a few recordings at YouTube (eg. Paul Winter and Herman Pals). The sheet music seems to be found in "Old English Organ Music for Manuals, Volume II".



For more information about the composer, see 




Friday, April 22, 2022

Scheidt

Scheidt, Samuel (1587-1654)
-- a German composer, organist, teacher

Since this is the Easter Season, I am going to post a recording of Christ lag in Todesbanden (Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands), a chorale prelude arranged by Samuel Scheidt.






My electronic keyboard does not have pedal keys, so I play the part with manual keys instead. 


For more information about the composer and the chorale, see 







Thursday, April 21, 2022

Rinck

Rinck, Johann Christian Heinrich (1770-1846)
-- a German composer and organist

I came across some of the beautiful pieces written by Rinck at IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project), while I was looking for short preludes and verses to play at church, and I immediately fell in love with his works. 

I like his graceful and pleasant harmonies. I sometimes play one of the short pieces on the reed organ as a prelude in the Sunday worship service. The following is a recording of the prelude #4 from 105 Organ Preludes which I played on the electronic keyboard at home.






For more information about the composer and his works, see


 


 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Quarta Variatio

Q is for Quarta Variatio, that is, the fourth variation of the chorale prelude, Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr (All Glory Be to God on High), arranged by J. P. Sweelinck  (1562-1621),  a Dutch composer, organist and teacher. 




One of my books contains the first four variations of this chorale arranged by Sweelinck, and this is my favorite version.



Links:






Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Pachelbel

Pachelbel, Johann (1653-1706)
--a German composer, organist, and teacher 

My repertoire includes a number of chorale preludes arranged by Pachelbel, and one of them is O Lamm Gottes unschuldig (O Lamb of God, Most Holy). I sometimes play this piece as a prelude to the Sunday worship service.

The following is a recording of the piece I played on the electronic keyboard at home.







For more information about the composer and the chorale, see 





Monday, April 18, 2022

Oliver

Oliver, Henry Kemble  (1800-1885)
-- born in Massachusetts, the U. S. A.


I turned to the index of composers in my hymnals again for the topic beginning with the letter O. Though I had never heard of Henry K. Oliver, and I had never sung and played the tune he wrote, I decided to do research to prepare for this post.

First, I played the hymn tune named "FEDERAL STREET" on the electronic keyboard and recorded it. (The hymn is titled "Come, dearest Lord.")







Then, I looked up Henry K. Oliver in Wikipedia, and found that he served as mayor in two cities in Massachusetts. A web page at hymnary.org says that he was organist at several churches, as well. According to another page, the name FEDERAL STREET "refers to the street in Boston where Oliver's boyhood church stood, al1 to the street in Salem where Oliver's wife, Sally, was “reared, wooed, won, and married.”"


Links: 




Saturday, April 16, 2022

Neumark

Neumark, Georg (1621-1681)
-- a German poet and composer of hymns

In search of a suitable topic beginning with the letter N, I turned to the index in one of my hymnals and found the person who wrote the chorale Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten (He who allows dear God to rule him), Georg Neumark. (He wrote both the lyrics and the tune.) 







I like the beautifully pensive melody of this hymn. I have been practicing playing a number of chorale preludes based on this song, arranged by J. S. Bach, G. Böhm, and J. L. Krebs. I hope that I will be able to play them better so that I can play them in public confidently some day. 😊

 
For more information about the composer and the chorale, 
see







#Thankful: April 16, 2022

 


  • Cherry blossoms are at their best earlier this week. 
  • Last Tuesday, I took a walk along the river, where I saw a lot of cherry blossoms. 
  • On the same day, I took some large boxes out of the store room and aired them and their contents in the sun. 
  • The camellias in front of our house are in blossom at last. 

  • I am thankful for K*, who sometimes sends me encouraging emails. 
  • I spent a lot of time cleaning the kitchen and the laundry room last Thursday. 
  • It was rainy last Friday, and somehow, it was relaxing. 
  • As always, I am thankful for the time I spend playing the electronic keyboard.
  • I had a good time at the choir rehearsal that took place last Sunday. 
  • I am also thankful for the chorale prelude I played at church last Sunday:


Friday, April 15, 2022

Mendelssohn

Mendelssohn, Felix (1809-1847)
--a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor 


When I sing a song or play a tune, I don't always pay attention to who wrote it, and it was not until a few months ago that I noticed that the beautiful tune for the hymn, "Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaks", was composed by Felix Mendelssohn. To be more exact, the hymn tune named CONSOLATION was arranged from Op. 30, No. 3, Lieder ohne Wrote (Songs Without Words). 






I have been fascinated with this melody since I heard it sung for the first time in my life in my early 20s, and I have played it on the electronic organ as a prelude to the Sunday worship service a few times. -- On the very first Sunday I visited a local church after moving to a new town decades ago, the regular organist called in sick, and I was suddenly asked to play the organ in her place, because I had told the minister that I had served as an amateur organist at the church in another city.  Totally unprepared, I opened the hymnal to choose a suitable prelude in a hurry. Immediately, I decided on "Still, still with Thee." That is how I became an organist at the church in the small town surrounded by mountains.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Lemmens (#A to Z Challenge and #Six-Sentence Stories)


I discovered the book, Ècole d’ Orgue, written by Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens in the church library several years ago, while we were packing all the books in boxes before we had the old building demolished. Lemmens (1823-1881) was a Belgian organist, music teacher, and composer. I had heard of the book, but I didn't know that the church had a copy. I was glad to find it and borrowed it, so that I could practice the pieces on the electronic keyboard at home while the new building was being constructed. I enjoyed playing those lovely pieces and the book helped me learn better fingerings.

Today, I am going to share a recording of #1 Moderato in "20 Préludes ou versets pour orgue sans pédale".








Links









this week's prompt: BOARD

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Krieger

Krieger, Johann (1651-1735)
--a German composer and organist

Today, I am going to post a recording of a short chorale prelude, Vater unser im Himmelreich (Our Father, Thou in Heaven Above), arranged by Krieger.








Links

 

 



 

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

J. S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
--a German composer


I am thankful that I was born centuries after J. S. Bach created those great pieces of music and that I live in the time when the sheet music and recordings of his works are available to people all over the world. I love listening to his music, and I love trying to play his keyboard pieces. 

The following is a recording of BWV 673 that I played on the electronic keyboard the other day.

 


BWV 673
Christe, aller Welt Trost
“Christ, Comfort of the world”


I would like to learn to play it better, and I hope to learn to play more of his fantastic chorale preludes.




links:






Monday, April 11, 2022

Irvine

Irvine, Jessie Seymour  (1836-1887)


Looking for a topic that begins with the letter I, I turned to the index of composers in one of my hymnals and learned that Irvine wrote the tune for "The Lord's my shepherd" (Psalm 23). I am familiar with the beautiful melody, but I had never heard of this lady until them.

According to Wikipedia,  Jessie Seymour Irvine was a daughter of a minister of the Church of Scotland. She became an organist, and she composed this tune as an exercise for a composition class. This tune is named CRIMOND after the town in Aberd­een­shire, Scot­land, where she lived.














Saturday, April 9, 2022

Thankful: April 9, 2022

 

  • It has been sunny and warm this week.
  • More flowers have come out in our backyard. 
  • I had my hair cut last Tuesday. 
  • Our spring cleaning is making progress. -- We are taking one corner at a time, so that we won't get exhausted.
  • I have come to enjoy decluttering our store room. 
  • I attended the Bible Study meeting, where we read 1 Samuel 2.
  • Mr. F* is delighted that one of his daughters has just got engaged to be married.
  • Yesterday, I found what I thought I had lost, the set of Canadian coins that a friend of mine had given me decades ago. I noticed that they were missing from a drawer a few years ago. I looked for them immediately but couldn't find them at that time. -- While I was cleaning the same drawer yesterday, I found them there after all. 
  • I am thankful for our friendly neighbors.
  • I am thankful for the chorale prelude that I played at church last Sunday:







Hine

Hine, William (1687-1730)
--an English organist and composer 

In a collection of short organ works for church organist that I have there is a piece composed by Hine. It is 6 bars long, and that phrase was all I knew about this composer before I started preparing for this article. The piece in my book is titled "Largo d".




I searched the Internet for more information and found that this is the 3rd section of "Voluntary in F major".  The sheet music is available at IMSLP. There is also a recording of the entire voluntary at YouTube.



Links:





Friday, April 8, 2022

Gibbons

Gibbons, Orlando (1583-1625)
--an English composer and keyboard player

For the letter G, I have chosen Gibbons , and I am going to post a recording of one of his works, "Andante G", which has only 12 bars.  

 





I have searched the Internet, and found that this is the first part of "Voluntary & Fantasia in G Major" through a video at YouTube. It has the second part as well, and we can read a brief biography of the composer as we listen to the music.










Thursday, April 7, 2022

Fischer

Fischer, Johann Kaspar Ferdinand   (c.1656 – 1746)
-- a German composer


My repertoire includes only a few chorale preludes arranged by Fischer, and one of them is very short and easy to play:


Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir
(Out of the depth I cry to Thee)
Ariadne Musica op.4. Fuga 6  





links:





 

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Elvey

Elvey, George Job (1816-1893)
-- an English composer and organist

I will post a recording of one of the hymns composed by Elvey, DIADEMATA. It is a tune for the hymn "Crown Him with many crowns." The title, DIADEMATA, comes from the Greek word for 'crown'. We often sing this song in *Japanese translation at the Sunday worship service in our local church, and I like its lively melody. 

*I live in Japan, and my native language is Japanese.










Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Decius

Decius, Nikolaus (the late 15th century - 1541)
-- a German monk, hymn writer, Protestant reformer and composer


Today, I would like to share a short piece composed by Decius, Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr (All Glory Be to God on High). The melody is based on the Latin chants, Gloria in excelsis and Sanctus in festis duplicibus. In the following recording, I used the sheet music found in a Japanese Hymnal (ISBN4-8184-3721-2).




There are a lot of chorale preludes of the same title arranged by different organists, and I am planning to write about a few of them later in this series. 



References:







Monday, April 4, 2022

Crüger

Today, I am going to post a recording of a hymn composed by Johann Crüger (1598-1662), Jesu, meine Freude (Jesus, Priceless Treasure).





My repertoire includes a few chorale preludes based on this beautiful hymn arranged by different organists, and I am planning to share one of them later in this series.




links:







Sunday, April 3, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful: April 3, 2022

 


  • sunny days
  • taking a walk on the riverbank
  • songs of skylarks
  • melodies in my heart 
  • bergenias in our backyard
  • winter jasmines in the flower pot
  • making progress in our spring cleaning
  • old photos I have found in a drawer in the store room  
  • Mass in B Minor by J. S. Bach, which I like to listen to at this time of the year
  • Blogging from A to Z April Challenge


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Brown

B is for BROWN, Arthur Henry.

Several years ago, I found the sheet music, Short Phrases for Church Organists by Arthur Henry Brown  (1830-1926) at International Music Score Library Project while looking for suitable pieces to play during the offering and the communion at church. Since then, I have often played his lovely works at the worship service.

Today, I would like to share the recording of C Major #1 from the second series: 













Friday, April 1, 2022

Alcock

My theme for the A to Z challenge is "short music pieces in my humble repertoire", and I would like to start with an organ work composed by J. ALCOCK (1715-1806).

The following is a recording of the first section of Voluntary V in D minor, which I played on the electronic keyboard the other day: