Joseph Haydn - Pieces for a musical clock 1792, 1-3 ("Arlesheim")

These pieces are very suited to make a so-called "heavy" organ program a little lighter, for instance with three groups of two or three pieces placed after the beginning, in the middle and towards the end. I like to combine them with some "light" pieces of my own, to balance a program based on, for instance, Bach and Brahms or Reger. Here are number one, two and three:

I am not yet pleases with the performance. In number one, the first two ornaments for the upper voice at the beginning are not "crisp and tasty", the timing of number two should be better and in number three I play a f natural instead of a f-sharp. That's what is called lifelong learning.


Practising César Franck's Premier Choral - part two quick version

I couldn't get the previous version out of my head and recorded this fragment again. Now the trompette solo is a little more fluent . I played the beginning of the piece before this solo, to pick up the tempo. The voix humaine passage at the end slows down, even more than the first time it appears, because of the added low sound of the pedal and to prepare for the Maestoso which follows.


César Franck's Premier Choral/part two

Re-listening to the recording, I find the first two trumpet phrases of this fragment a little too slow. Perhaps I was influenced by a beautiful recording of Brahms' first piano concerto by Daniel Barenboim and Sergiu Celibidache (see YouTube). The latter was well-known for his slow tempi and profound interpretations.

Will be continued.


César Franck - Premier Choral in E major, part one

In my opinion organ playing has not one but two quintessences. The first and most basic is playing chords in a rather moderate tempo. The second is playing a trio on two manuals and pedal. Evidently, the opening of Franck's Premier Choral is an example of the first quintessence.

The camera position from above is intended to give a good view on the movements of each finger separately. Consequently, the importance of quick and alert finger substitutions at the service of a fluent legato can be observed.

Viewed on a large screen, a harmonic analysis of the score can be read. I use this analysis in particular for second year students, at the end of the year, after the lessons on, for example, a movement of a symphony by Brahms.


Veroneser Allegro KV 72a - W.A. Mozart

Mozart's and Haydn's small pieces for organ should not be underestimated, for they represent a kind of sophisticated and elegant expression which organists often find difficult to deal with.


Andante Cantabile KV15mm - W.A. Mozart

This very small, but lovely piece from The London Sketchbook was written by Mozart when he was eight years old. Arthur Rubinstein once said that thinking of young Mozart made him quite humble. A few years ago, a very good French movie was made about Nannerl, Wolfgang's older sister. In a beautiful scene Wolfgang plays the organ and Nannerl sings.