Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A Treasure Trove for the Organist of Meagre Talents

Because I am so absent-minded, it seems obvious that anything I know must have come to the attention of everyone else eons ago, and I often assume as much, but I know it ain't necessarily so.

In light of that, it occurs to me that not everyone knows about the Werner Icking Music Archive, running neck and neck with CPDL for second place (behind the CMAA's resources,) for the most extravagantly, graciously, (and I use that word quite deliberately,) useful site for those of us who "do" church music, on the interwebs.

Sometimes I am simply in awe of the generosity of those who have made all these gifts available, the true liberality, the love that has made this possible -- Grace indeed!

My memory was pricked by the CanticaNova article I referenced yesterday, where among the possible sins of organists cataloged by the author, was the charge of sameness.

Not a fault of which I am guilty thanks to several decisions and/or lucky breaks, but I digress -- the one I am discussing is that I DONT PLAY THE SAME MUSIC OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER... (there is one lady I know who, I swear to the Almighty, plays Preire a Notre Dame EVERY MASS.)

No, I have an embarrassment of riches, or at least, an embarrassment of comfortably-well-offs from which to choose for postludes, preludes, fill-in at the Offertory procession outside of Lent, traveling music...

In case you didn't know about Werner Icking, and in case like me you are an accidental organist, I highly recommend the works of John Stanley. I had come across a voluntary or two of his, the ones that show up in the usual Organ-For-You-People-Who-Can't-Really-Play-Organ-And-Who-Do-You-Think-You're-Fooling? albums, (Oxford has some nice ones,) but he wrot e scads of music, SCADS, several collections of, in some cases fairly long, multiple movement voluntaries.

So there you are. An entire years worth of mostly sight-readable keyboard pieces.

A reasonable variety of keys in case you like easy segues into and out of that hymntune that you are playing to death so that when you finally program it people will think they already know, a variety of moods and textures, some very short, some extraordinarily easy, all with a modicum of dignity, (that not all "liturgical" music is possessed of dignity was brought home to me yesterday when I took a funeral programmed entirely by someone else, and found myself working overtime to try to... well, the less said about it the better.)

Stanley suffers a tad bit from Telleman-itis, who is said to have written not 500 concerti, but the same concerto 500 times, but there's still a lot there, a lot.

Anyway, God bless Stanley, Icking, and the wonderful, wonderful musicians, academics, and computer whizzes who have made the archive possible.


Heath said...

Played some Stanley this morning . . . thanks for the recommendation!

Yes, durn near sight-readable without being too trite.

Mary Ann said...

I just found your site, a link from MJ Ballou...thank you so much for the Stanley link.

Scelata said...

Welcome, Mary Ann!

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)