Organ music played by me at St. Mary's Church, Dalmahoy, near Edinburgh
It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green cornfield did pass,
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
('As You Like It' – Shakespeare)
All the pieces I play in Eastertide are taken from my list of suggested wedding music:
Don't forget to click on the 'Wedding Music Showcase!' button to take you through to one of my YouTube playlists!
Sunday 2nd April – Lent 5
Prelude: In dich hab' ich gehoffet, Herr (BWV 640) – Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Communion: Werde munter (BWV 1118) - Bach
Voluntary: Sonata 1 (1st movement) – Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47)
The three chorales which form the basis of these pieces are all used by Bach in his 'St. Matthew Passion' (see next week).
Sunday 9th April – Palm Sunday
Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion lite'
To accompany the reading of the Passion according to St. Matthew, we sing all the twelve chorales Bach inserted into the narrative at the places Bach chose for them. For prelude and postlude, I play the opening and closing choruses.
Sunday 16th April – Easter Day
Prelude: Après un Rêve – Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Communion: Arioso (Sinfonia from Cantata 156) – Bach
Voluntary: Festival March (from 'The Sleeping Beauty') - Erkki Melartin (1875-1937)
Bach's Cantata 156 is entitled 'I stand with one foot in the grave', but the sinfonia has become popularly-known as 'Arioso'.
Erkki Melartin's Festival March from 'Sleeping Beauty' (1904) is the most popular wedding march in his native Finland, and deserves to be more widely-known outside Finland. Click here for the original orchestral version.
Sunday 23rd April – Easter 2
Prelude: Chanson de Matin – Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Communion: Chorale Prelude on 'Melcombe' – Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918)
Voluntary: Pomp and Circumstance March no.4 - Edward Elgar
English music for St. George's day. Dragons beware!
Sunday 30th April – Easter 3
Prelude: Salut d'amour – Edward Elgar
Communion: Flower Duet ('Sous le dôme épais' - from Lakmé) - Léo Delibes (1836-1891)
Voluntary: Bridal March (from 'The Birds' of Aristophanes) - Parry
It is said that 'Salut d'amour' only became popular when Elgar changed the title from German to French.
Delibes' Flower Duet (1883) has become well-known in recent years through its use in the British Airways commercials.
Sunday 7th May – Easter 4
Prelude: The Bells – William Byrd (1543-1623)
Communion: Sheep may safely graze – Johann Sebastian Bach
Voluntary: Air composed for Holsworthy Church Bells – Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876)
A musical tribute to our two new bells. Byrd's variations are built on a two-note ostinato, over which the peal gets faster and faster.
Whilst Wesley was cathedral organist in Exeter, he wrote this set of variations on a tune he had composed for the bells of Holsworthy church in west Devon. (I have actually played this in Holsworthy church itself)
Sunday 14th May – Easter 5
Prelude: Humoresque 'L'organo primitivo' – Pietro Yon (1886-1943)
Communion: Air (from Suite no 3 - 'Air on the G string') – Bach
Voluntary: Imperial March - Edward Elgar
There is nothing primitive about Yon's sparkling humoresque, which is written to be played on a single flute stop, with pedals.
Bach's Air became well-known some years ago as the background music for the Hamlet cigar commercial. Happiness is...
Elgar wrote the Imperial March for Victoria's Diamond Jubilee,1897.
Sunday 21st May – Easter 6
Prelude: Meditation (from 'Thaïs') – Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Communion: Air (from the' Water Music') - George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Voluntary: March (from the Overture to the 'Occasional Oratorio') – George Frideric Handel
Handel composed the Occasional Oratorio hastily in January and February 1745/46 during the last phase of the Jacobite rising (Handel, of course, being a supporter of the Hanoverian king), and premiered it immediately on 14 February at the Royal Opera House.
Sunday 28th May – Easter 7
Prelude: Ayre and Gavot – Thomas Arne (1710-1778)
Communion: A Little Tune ('Six Concertos', op.2) – William Felton (1715-1769)
Voluntary: Grand March (from 'Aida') – Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
The 'Ayre and Gavot' form the fifth of Arne's Eight Sonatas or Lessons for the Harpsichord (1756). Felton's Six Concertos for the Organ or Harpsichord were published slightly earlier, in 1745.