J. S. Bach’s ‘Orgelbüchlein’ : my lockdown recordings 2020-22

J S BachJ. S. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein (BWV 599–644) is a set of 45 short organ pieces that were composed over several decades from 1704 onwards. Bach’s idea  was to assemble 164 works in a variety of styles, all based on pre-existing Lutheran hymn-tunes, and arranged according to the Church’s calendar. The collection would serve Bach not only in church services but also in his teaching. Alas, the project remained incomplete at the composer’s death.
      I made these recordings during the UK’s various Covid-related restrictions of 2020–22. The earlier recordings recordings were made for use as part of live-streamed church services. Although that need is no longer pressing, I continue to work my way through Orgelbüchlein, recording the results here. For some of my other lockdown recordings go to: Exordia ad missam’: my lockdown recordings.

Recordings ©Andrew Pink.
Material on this page is published under the Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) : Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International. All rights reserved.

Advent

Christmas

Epiphany

Purification

Passiontide

Easter

Pentecost

Catechism

General

  • Technical notes.
    – Edition: Johann Sebastian Bach Orgelbüchlein. Series: Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke. IV/i (Kassel ; London : Bärenreiter 1987)
    – Temperament: Werckmeister III; pitch A=440

    – Organ: Viscount Sonus 60
    – Microphone: Zoom Q2N-4K
    – Recordings: ©Andrew Pink. All rights reserved.

    Creative Commons licence: [Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International]

#TheOrganShow, #InternationalOrganDay #orgelbuchlein #Orgelbüchlein
@Bach330 @OrgelbuchleinP

‘Exordia ad missam’ : my lockdown recordings 2020-22

The following exordia ad missam (tr. preludes to the mass) are short and mostly meditative pieces that I recorded during the UK’s various Covid-related restrictions of 2020–22 for use as part of live-streamed church services. Although that need is no longer pressing, I continue to add to this page. For some of my other lockdown recordings go to: J. S. Bach’s ‘Orgelbüchlein’ : my lockdown recordings.

Recordings©Andrew Pink. 
Material on this page is published under the Creative Commons licence
(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) : Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International. All rights reserved.


Emma Louise Ashford (1850–1930) 

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Melody in B-flat: allegretto ma non troppo’ (The Organist Vol. 2/iv 1898)

Nadia Boulanger

Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Inprovisation (Trois Improvisations. 1911–12)

Kate Boundy (1863–1913)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Even Song‘ (The Village Organist. Vol. 11. 1898)

 Luigi Bottazzo (1845–1924)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Invocazione alla Regina della Pace‘. Raccolta di Sette Pezzi. Op.289. 1917)

Maude Campbell-Jansen (1884-1958) in 1910

Maude Campbell-Jansen (1888-1954)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) Meditation (1928). 

Hedwige Chrétien (1859–1944)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Musette‘ from Harmonies Religieuses: à l’usage du service divin. (Series ‘Echos des organistes contemporains’ Vol 3 . 1922)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Melody’ (Three Short Pieces. 1898). 

Elisa Delaye-Fuchs (1872–?)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Pièce en La bémol majeur‘ Op. 25 (Maîtres contemporains de l’orgue. Vol. 5. 1914. 93–94)

Jeanne Demessieux (1921–68)

Andrew Pink performs (2020) ‘Rorate caeli‘ (Twelve Choral-Preludes on Gregorian Themes. Op. 8. 1947) . 

Théodore Dubois (1837–1924)

Andrew PInk performs (2021) ‘Adoration‘ (42 Pièces pour Orgue ou Harmonium. c.1915. Op. Posth. 1925)

Marcel Dupré  (1886–1971)

Andrew Pink performs (2020) ‘Alma redemptoris mater‘ (Eight Short Preludes on Gregorian Themes. Op 45. 1958).

Robert Evans (c.1949–.)

Andrew Pink plays Divertimento for a Keyoboard: Allegro Energico (2014)

William Faulkes (1863–1933)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Idylle in D-flat major’ (William Faulkes: Compositions for the Organ. 1902)

Eugénie-Emilie Juliette Folville (1879–1946)Eugénie-Emilie Juliette Folville (1870–1946)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Verset sur le thème du “Tantum”, 6e ton’ (Maîtres contemporains del’orgue, Vol.3. 1912)

César Franck (1822–90)César Franck (1822–90)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Prélude pour l’Ave Maris Stella: andantino quasi allegretto’, 1858–63. (No. 28 in Pièces posthumes, ed. Georges Franck, 1905. )

Harvey Grace (1874–1944)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Cradle Song’ (Ten Compositions for the Organ. 1922) 

Walter Battison Haynes (1859–1900)Walter Battison Haynes (1859–1900)

Andrew Pink performs ‘Meditation in G: Introductory Voluntary‘ in The Village Organist (Vol. 1, Book 4,  1897)

Paul HIndemith (1895–1963)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Ruhig bewegt’ (Sonate 2, 1937)

Peter Hurford (1930–2019)

Andrew PInk performs (2022) ‘Wem in Leidenstagen(Five Short Chorale Preludes, 1958)

Joseph Jongen (1873–1953)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) Petit Prélude (1937)

Jean Langlais (1907–91)

Andrew Pink performs (2020) ‘Interlude’ (Three Characteristic Pieces, 1957).

 

John Lee (1908–90)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Ecce panis angelorum’ Ten Organ Preludes for Liturgical Services. No 9. (1939)

Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wely (1817–69)Louis J. A. Lefébure-Wely  (1817–69)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Andante: choeur de voix humaines‘ (Meditaciones religiosas op. 122/vii. 1858).

Kate Loder (1825–1904) Kate Loder (1825–1904)

Andrew Pink performs (2020) ‘Voluntary in B-flat‘ (Six Easy Voluntaries. Second set. 1891). ” … for the most part fresh and genial in character […] somewhat suggestive of Spohr in the numerous chromatic progressions.” (Musical Times. Vol. 32, No. 579 (May  1, 1891), p. 297). 

Robert–Charles Martin (1877–1949)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) Élévation (Parnasse des Organistes … First series, vol.1. 1911)

Olivier Messiaen (1908–92)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) Le Banquet Céleste (1928)

Andrew Moore (b.1954)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) Hymn-prelude ‘Bunessan’ (1996)

Ann Mounsey (1811–91)Ann Mounsey-Bartholomew (1811–1891)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Andante’ (The Village Organist. First Series, vol 2. 1872)

henri mulet in 1911Henri Mulet (1878–1967)

Andrew Pink performs (2020) ‘Noel’ (Esquisses Byzantines, 1920).

Max Oesten (1843–1917).

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Christmas(Festival Times. Op 205/i, 1899).

Flor PeetersFlor Peeters (1903–86)

Andrew Pink performs (2020) ‘Fantasie Inviolata‘ (Four Improvisations on Gregorian Melodies. Op.6/iv, 1946).

Incipit inviolata

Jean-Marie Plum OSM (1898–1944)

Andrew Pink performs ‘Bénédiction nuptiale(Messe de mariage. Op.56/ii. Pub. posth, Paris. 1955)

Marie Prestat (1862–1933)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Offrande à la Vierge: Alma redemptoris mater (Maîtres contemporains de l’orgue. Vol.4..  Paris: 1914)

florence price Florence Price (1887–1953)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) Adoration (1951)

Noel RawsthorneNoel Rawsthorne (1929–2019)

Andrew Pink performs:(2020) ‘Interlude in C‘ (Adagio Collection, 1999)

Alec Rowley (1892-1958) Alec Rowley (1892–1958).

Andrew PInk performs (2021) ‘Picardy‘ (A Book of Hymn Tune Voluntaries [by various]. 1950)

Blanche Rozan (fl.1900–12)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Petite Prière: assez lentement’ (Maîtres contemporains de l’orgueVol. 2.. Paris: 1912)

Léonce de Saint-Martin (1886–

1954)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Interlude de Grand Orgue pour l’Élévation: infiniment calme‘ (Mass in E-minor, Op.13. 1932)

 Hermann Schroeder (1904–84).

Andrew PInk performs (2021) ‘Allegretto‘ (Kleine Präludien und IntermezziOp. 9. 1932)

Franz SchubertFranz Schubert (1797–1828)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Ave Maria’ (Ellens Gesang III, D. 839/vi. 1825), arr. Andrew Pink (2022)

Quentin Thomas (b. 1972)

Andrew Pink performs (2021) ‘Prelude on St Columba’ (1996)

Ralph Vaughan Williams c.1921Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Eventide‘ (from Two Hymn Tune Preludes for small orchestra (1936), arranged for organ (1938) by Herbert Sumsion (1899–1995)

 René Vierne (1878–1918)

Andrew Pink performs (2022) ‘Élévation’ (Archives de l’Organiste, vol 4. 1910)

 

Techincal notes
– Temperament: Equal; pitch A=440
– Organ: Viscount Sonus 60
– Microphone: Zoom Q2N-4K
– Recordings: ©Andrew Pink. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons licence: [Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International]

#TheOrganShow #InternationalOrganDay #SWORCOWomanComposerSunday #FemaleComposerChallenge #WomanComposerSunday @SWomenOrganists #InternationalWomensDay

Union Chapel, Islington

I was recently asked to play the organ for a Sunday morning service at the Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington (London, UK). It is an impressive brick building, replacing an earlier chapel (see below). It was built (1876-81) to a design by James Cubitt (1836–1914), loosely inspired by the rather smaller church of Santa Fosca on the Venetian island of Torcello. The result here is a rather heavy, imposing exterior …

… while inside is a lofty and broad uncluttered space with seating for more than a thousand people, each with a clear view of the central stone pulpit.

The origin of the Union Chapel dates back to 1799 with the union of local Unitarians and Anglicans who met together in private, having separated themselves from their respective neighbourhood churches. Initially they used Anglican forms of worship in the morning and Unitarian forms in the evening. They eventually developed thier own forms, and in 1847 joined the Congregational Union, a federation of autonomous congregations, to which the Union Chapel still belongs.

The first purpose-built Union Chapel chapel was completed in 1806 on land leased from Lord Northampton by a property speculator named Henry Leroux who came from nearby Stoke Newington. He added houses on either side of the chapel. The classical-style chapel building was enlarged in 1851 (archtect unknown) and given a new facade. Alas, so far I have found no images of the interior of this former chapel building.

The pipe organ

The organ console in the Union Chapel, Islington, London (UK) c. 2013
The organ console in the Union Chapel, Islington, London (UK) c. 2013

The history of the several organs of the Union Chapel was neatly outlined in 1880 by the Chapel’s  Rev Henry Allon describing the music at the Union Chapel:

“[About 1842] there was a one manual organ which we sold some years later for forty pounds
[…]
In 1852 we had a new organ commissioned from Gray and Davidson, planned by Dr Gauntlett.
[…]
A second organ planned by Dr Gauntlett was built by Holdich under Mr Prout’s direction in 1867. It cost £1,000, inclusive of fitting.

Opening organ recital, Union Chapel, Islington, London UK. [Source: The Musical Times, 13/297 (Nov. 1, 1867)]
Opening organ recital, Union Chapel, Islington, London UK. [Source: The Musical Times, 13/297 (Nov. 1, 1867)]
The old organ was sold to Queen’s Square Chapel, Brighton.
[…]
When the new church was built in 1877 it was found that Holdich’s organ could be made to fit the organ chamber only at an expense that approached the cost of a new instrument. It was therefore decided to sell the organ and Mr Willis built a new one, planned by Prof. W. H. Monk at a cost of £1000.” [‘Studies in Worship Music’]

Pulpit and organ screed (2020). The Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington, London UK. [Source: iao.org.uk]
Pulpit and organ screed (2020). The Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington, London UK. [Source: iao.org.uk]
Today’s Union Chapel pipe organ was installed by the London organ-builder Henry Willis in 1877, fronted by an open stone and metal screen placed behind the pulpit.

In order to save the blocking up of a rose window, the instument is built in a concrete chamber below [lower than] the main floor of the building. This position is Mr Willis’s own idea, which he carried out in spite of the evil prognostications of those who considered that he was doing a foolish thing. One great advantage has resulted therefrom. Throughout an oratorio performance, when the building is crowded with people, and the temperature rises very high, the organ is found to be “dead in tune”. [Musical Times (39/663, 1 May 1898)]

In 2012 the Henry Willis organ wa restored by Harrison and Harrison organ builders of Durham (UK) using a grant from the UK National Lottery Fund. The original hydraulic engine that powers the organ  was restored to use, although a modern electric powered bellows system was also installed as a back-up.

Coda

The 1852 Gray and Davison organ moved to the Queen Square Chapel in Brighton has subsequently been broken up and destroyed, the building demolished.  The 1867 Holdich organ was sold for £600 to a Congregational Chapel in Hinckley in Leicestershire where it remains.

Union Chapel Organists [main source: The Musical Times]

  • 1806-52. ?
  • 1852-61. Henry Gauntlett (1805-76)
  • 1861-72. Ebenezer Prout (1835-1909); annual salary £50
  • 1872-80. Charles Forington
  • 1880-1909. Josiah Fountain Meen (1846-1909)
  • 1910-14. Julius Harrison (1885–1963)
  • 1914-?. Herbert Pierce
  • 1946-54. Spencer Shaw (1897-1965)
        • Recording 1: The City Temple, London EC1 (UK)
        • Recording 2: The Kingsway Hall, London WC2 (UK)
  • 1954-56. A. E Pierce
  • 1956. A vacancy is advertised in January 1956; annual salary £75
  • 1957. A vacancy is advertised in August 1957, annual salary £75
  • ? … ?
  • 2004-11. Ian Boakes
  • ?-present. Claire M. Singer

References