I had little to no training in improvisation in my music lessons growing up. This lack of training combined with a predisposition to enjoy sight reading led me to avoid improvising at all costs—participating in jazz band always made me a little nervous.
John Behnke has composed a three-part partita on the hymn tune KOMM, HEILIGER GEIST, HERRE GOTT, a Reformation-era tune that accompanies Martin Luther’s Pentecost hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (LSB 497). The partita contains three movements, one for each stanza of the hymn.
Jacob B. Weber continues his Mosaics series with six hymns of Praise and Adoration. Contents include a dance-like EARTH AND ALL STARS, a stately ENGELBERG, a majestic LAUDES DOMINI, two festive and versatile settings of LOBE DEN HERREN and SONG PRAISE, and a partita on UNSER HERRSCHER.
David Maxwell has crafted nine extensive organ settings for Advent and Christmas in this collection. Maxwell uses a variety of styles ranging from introspective (W ZLOBIE LEZY) to strong and majestic (CONSOLATION). The collection also includes a joyful toccata of ANTIOCH and a lively swung setting of GO TELL IT. These settings will be enjoyable for all levels.
This year, the Church celebrates the Day of Pentecost on May 23, marking the end of the season of Easter. The word “Pentecost” literally means “fifty,” as it falls fifty days after Easter Day.
On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus’ apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and given the ability to speak in many languages, which they used to spread the Gospel to all people and cultures. The Day of Pentecost marks the beginning of the “Time of the Church” in the Church Year—that half of the Church Year where the paraments in the sanctuary remain green and God’s people hear, in more detail, about the works and ministry of Jesus.
This collection by Benjamin Kolodziej features Easter organ settings of moderate difficulty. Each employs various musical textures to convey the spirit of the hymn texts to the congregation. From meditative and lush treatments of LANCASHIRE and VRUECHTEN to a sprightly trio arrangement of BESANÇON to a setting of DUKE STREET suitable for showcasing a solo trumpet, organists will find these settings invigorating and fun to play.
Good Friday Suite features four hymns: “O Perfect Life of Love”; “Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle”; “The Royal Banners Forward Go”; and “O Darkest Woe.” The suite may be played from start to finish or each as an individual prelude. The suite is especially useful for a Tre Ore service.
Robert J. Powell has composed a well-crafted and accessible organ collection for Lent, Cross of Jesus: Six Preludes for Lent. This book offers settings that are appropriate to the season, such as “Go to Dark Gethsemane,” “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now,” and “Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow.” Each setting offers a series of key and tempo changes. The final setting, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me,” offers a joyful, majestic ending to an otherwise somber piece.
Are you in need of some fresh and innovative music for Sunday morning worship? Bring creative variety to your hymn playing with these artistic hymn introductions for organ. Some of these introductions explore the hymn tune in full, while others use only a portion of the tune. All of them set the tone for the hymn and prepare the congregation to sing.
This collection contains an array of settings that will appeal to organists of all ability levels and sensibilities. The melodies are set in alluring, recognizable ways and are suitable for preludes, voluntaries, and postludes. Matthew Machemer uses a variety of styles: Baroque writing with clean, contrapuntal lines; dramatic settings with lush harmonies; and elegant, understated treatment, useful throughout the Church Year.