Favorite Work of November 2014
Every month one member of the Carus team introduces his/her favorite work, whether it be a choral piece, a CD, a songbook or an organ edition. The recommendation in November 2014 was contributed by Swenja Schekulin.
Free Organ Music from the Romantic Period
After beginning organ lessons a few years ago and taking my degree a year ago, I've constantly been on the search for organ literature which is sufficiently easy for non-professional organists and suitable for use in church services.
As well as the collection Pastoral Music for Organ, which is very suitable for the coming Christmas season, I also like the three-volume series “Free Organ Music from the Romantic Period” with its shorter, freely-composed organ works. Here you find both easy and more demanding pieces and you have a super choice of works – for processionals, voluntaries and communion – all of which are fine if you don't have much time to practice.
In the first two volumes there are many compositions from German-speaking countries worthy of discovery, including composers such as Moritz Brosig, Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck, Gustav Adolf Merkel, and Josef Gabriel Rheinberger. But I've been very taken with French organ music in particular for a long time, and so the third volume is really attractive with its exploration of composers from other countries. It includes works such as the expressive “Lamento in C minor” by Alexandre Guilmant from his op. 90, the spirited “Risoluto in A” by the Belgian organist Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens (he didn't work directly in Paris, but had a great influence on the French organ school as teacher of Guilmant and Widor), and the cheerful, relaxed “Chacone in B flat” by Clément Loret, also a pupil of Lemmens. Other works from England – some meditative, some colorful, and some festive, Antonín Dvo?ák's Prelude and Fugue in D, and the “Aria in A” by the Brazilian composer Henrique Oswald make the collection into a treasure trove of wonderful and often unknown pieces.
Swenja Schekulin studied musicology and music pedagogy in Würzburg, and works as an trainee at Carus in the Editorial Department. In her free time she loves singing in choirs, and is often to be found playing the piano and organ.