Organ music in July, 2024

July 2024 Organ Voluntaries after Sunday Mass

July 7, OT 14 Paean (Hymn of praise) Herbert Howells – a busy, slightly driven piece with two main ideas – a fast-moving scale, and a chordal, short “brass band” moment akin to a fanfare. This was written in 1940, and is not entirely immune from the worries of that period. The ending is triumphant and in the major, after a mainly D-minor-based piece.

July 14, OT 15 S S Wesley’s Choral Song (1842) is a long, winding, harmonised melody with many reiterations of the opening theme. It is serene and beautiful; it is often followed by the fairly long and energetic fugue which will be played at the end of the month.

July 21, OT 16 Vater unser in Himmelreich, the Lord’s Prayer, by J S Bach (BWV 737) is a simple weaving of a fabric from the elements of each line of the hymn, which appears clearly at the top of the texture. It is a dense texture once all the strands have joined in, and solemn, statuesque writing.

July 28, OT 17 This is the completion by Fugue of the S S Wesley Choral Song from July 17th. The fugue is busy, lean and following formulae – until near the end where some inspired key changes wrack up the excitement and the writing becomes more insistent and flamboyant.