Encouraging pianists to become occasional organists.

Encouraging pianists to become occasional organists.

A musical journey through lockdown.

From Tuesday March 24th 2020 we were all challenged with the way we led our lives because of the imposed lockdown. For musicians this meant delivering music on-line and as a result virtual choirs were formed and ensembles joined up using the internet. For this blogger it meant preparing voluntaries for virtual Sunday services using software and sampling technology. The theme chosen was essentially to find music that could be played on both the piano and the organ to encourage pianists to be challenged into playing the organ when they were again available to play.

 

Each of the 20 works explored and prepared has a free sheet music score available from the PlentyMusic website together with a video score and commentary. To access the resources you will need to sign up to PlentyMusic.

Bach C.P.E. | Second Movement: Adagio from Sonata in A minor Wq 70/4, H 85  

Bach J.S. | Two Part Invention in F BWV 779

Bach J.S. | Sinfonia No.12 in A  BWV 798

Bach J.S. | Duet No.2 in F major  BWV 803

Bach J.S. | Duet No.3 in G major  BWV 804

Bach J.S. | First Movement: Andante spiccato from Concerto in D minor BWV 794 (after Marcello)

Bach J.S. | Second Movement: Adagio from Concerto in D minor BWV 794

Bach J.S. | Third Movement: Presto from Concerto in D minor BWV 994

Buxtehude D. | Fugue in G BuxWV 175

Buxtehude D. | Fugue in C BuxWV 174

Froberger J. J. | Canzona No 5 FbWV305

Galuppi B. | First Movement: Allegro from the Organ Sonata in D minor

Galuppi B. | Second Movement: Largo from the Organ Sonata in D minor

Galuppi B. | Third Movement: Allegro e spiritoso from the Organ Sonata in D minor

Handel G.F.| Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

Handel G.F.| Lascia ch’io pianga from Rinaldo

Muffat G.  | Fugue in G minor

Scarlatti D. | Keyboard Sonata in D minor K.417

Zipoli D. | Pastorale

Zipoli D. | Canzona in F 

Bach  C.P.E. | Second Movement: Adagio from Sonata in A minor Wq 70/4, H 85  

Carl Philip Emanuel Bach 1714 – 1788 is an important figure in music history and a composer that links the baroque with the classical era. His favourite keyboard instrument was the in fact the clavichord and he was not really known to be an organ virtuoso like his father.

Free sheet music score link: https://bit.ly/31Y4iPN

He was an important influence on F.J.Haydn and L. van Beethoven who both held J. S. Bach’s composing son in high regard. This particular period in music history is a fascinating one and C.P.E Bach’s music is deserving of more attention both from the performance point of view and the need for well researched modern editions of his most popular music. This particular movement is in the “empfindsamer Stil” or sensitive style that is a feature in much of C.P.E.Bach’s  music and other north German composers of the mid 18th century. It is approach that focuses on the expression of emotion in an intimate musical style that could be described as being declamatory or one that utilises both drama and dialogue. Whilst a movement with appeal there will be quite a challenge getting the piece to a performance standard.

 A realisation score with the ornaments all written out is appended to the sheet music score so that keyboard players can make a thorough study of the ornamentation of this work. This is an often complex and contradictory area but understandable because this composition comes from a time of great change in music. Keyboard players should have a sense of an eighth note quaver beat whilst the video score plays back at a tempo of 58 quaver beats to the minute. He composed relatively little for the organ but did write some sonatas music for the sister of Frederick II, the Great, Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia. This movement which is part of a three movement sonata was composed sometime around 1755. C.P.E. Bach was known as the “Berlin Bach” whilst he worked in Berlin and then the “Hamburg Bach” when he moved there to replace his godfather Telemann as Kapellmeister. This distinguished him from his brother J.C. Bach who was known as the “London Bach”.

Bach J.S. | Two Part Invention in F BWV 779

Invention No.8 in F is a busy uplifting movement requiring a good technique and level of musicianship to be played accurately and at a consistent tempo. Free sheet music score link: https://bit.ly/3bxZFPv

The imitative counterpoint is a strong feature and the notes and shapes need to be clearly articulated. A tempo of 92 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is used in the organ realisation and video score. Right and left hand fingering is clearly specified in the sheet music download although feedback to the music editor on the placement of fingering would be appreciated. Over, under or to the side of the note? The TwoPart Inventions and Sinfonias are essential repertoire for all keyboard players and a good introduction to playing Bach on the organ.

Bach J.S. | Sinfonia No.12 in A  BWV 798

The Sinfonias of J.S. Bach are three voiced works and can be played on either the harpsichord, piano or organ. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/323vKvi

There are 15 in the collection all of which explore contrapuntal writing to the full. Bach’s intention was to prepare students for composition and a cantabile style of playing. The autograph copy of the Sinfonia’s is dated 1723.  The realisation plays back at a tempo of 80 quarter note beats to the minute.

The Two Part Inventions and Sinfonias are essential repertoire for all keyboard players and a very good introduction to playing Bach on the organ. They are ideal “warm up” pieces.

Bach J.S. | Duet No.2 in F major  BWV 803

 The Duet in F BWV 803 was published in 1739 being one of 4 Duettos. The sheet music copy available from the PlentyMusic website has suggested fingering in place and the cadential ornamentation is written out.  Free sheet music link: https://bitly.is/33aZ8PU

The second duet in F major BWV 803 is a fugue written in the form of a da capo aria ABA. The 4 Duets are part of Clavier-Übung III or the German Organ Mass and composed really at the zenith of the composer’s contrapuntal writing. The edited music score has suggested fingering in place which should serve as a useful guide in the first instance. The music editor’s concept is that once familiarised with the movement players will default to the plain score perhaps substituting their own choice of fingering when they feel it is appropriate.

 The organ realisation and video score keeps to the same registration but in a performance there is opportunity to change the registration in the middle B section. The organ realisation plays back at 84 quarter note beats to the minute.

Bach J.S. | Duet No.3 in G major  BWV 804

Duet No.3 BWV 804 in G major is an appealing work with a light, dance like character. It is an intermediate level performance piece reminiscent of the composers Two Part Inventions. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/31Y4iPN

The Four Duets come from the collection known as Clavier-Übung III or the German Organ Mass which was published in 1739 and includes some of J. S. Bach’s greatest contrapuntal writing.

This Duet does present a number of score reading challenges for the player even though the music is conceived in two parts. The 4 Duets are part of Clavier-Übung III or the German Organ Mass and composed really at the zenith of the composer’s contrapuntal writing.

The edited music score has suggested fingering which may serve as a useful guide to how the movement is studied in the first instance. The music editors concept is that once familiarised with the movement that players will make use of the plain score perhaps substituting their own choice of fingering where they feel it is appropriate.

The time signature is in 12/8 and the piano/organ  realisation plays back at a tempo of 60 dotted quarter note beats to the minute. As is the case with most baroque music there is no score detail in place.

There are many fine performances of this movement on several different types of keyboard instrument that are worth exploring.

Bach J.S. | First Movement: Andante spiccato from Concerto in D minor BWV 794 (after Marcello)


J.S. Bach’s transcription of the first movement from A. Marcello’s oboe concerto. Bach was a great copier of music making it suitable for performance on the organ. Bach’s version dates from 1715. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/2RickNn

The score is marked Andante spiccato. Spiccato is a reference to a type of staccato and bowing technique on a string instrument.

There is much to be learnt about the baroque concerto and the terms frequently associated with the music context all have a context with this movement. Tutti  (everyone)  ritornello (a recurring passage / theme / refrain) ripieno (whole group) concertino (solo group) episode (a musical section or passage that is not the theme).

A competent performance of this movement should demonstrate that the player has a clear understanding of both the structure and texture. Remember that Bach’s keyboard transcription was originally an orchestral work. Clarity in the articulation of every note is the challenge in playing the music of J. S. Bach.

Ornaments featured in the movement are presented simply and consistently. Keyboard players will find many variants in terms of their frequency and their interpretation. Listen to recordings and copy the best of modern practice is the best advice. When learning the piece the music editor suggests omitting the ornaments in the first instance. The ornaments have been written out in the piano video score and organ players can refer to this for clarity in understanding how the ornaments should be played. The sheet music score available from the PlentyMusic website has the symbols for the ornaments in place which understandably gives the score more visual clarity. Players may wish to review the use of ornaments in the light of their own listening and study. Ornaments always need to played rhythmically with clarity and consistency.The organ realisation plays back at 72 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute although a tempo in the range 72 – 80 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is appropriate

In the video score the lines representing the spread chords have been hidden simply because they behave inconsistently in this score format.

As is the custom with the notation of baroque music there is very little score detail.

The movement ends with a Tierce de Picardy aka a Picardy third. This is essentially refers to the use of a major chord at the end of a piece in the minor key.

Bach J.S. | Second Movement: Adagio from Concerto in D minor BWV 794


This is J.S. Bach’s transcription of the second movement from A. Marcello’s oboe concerto. Bach was a great copier of music often making it suitable for performance on the organ. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/3jX0dRQ

This is a keyboard arrangement of an oboe concerto attributed to the Venetian composer A. Marcello although Bach understood it to be a work by Vivaldi. J.S.Bach’s arrangement dates from 1715. It is work that is can be performed on the piano, organ and harpsichord. Careful reading of the score is required because of the numerous accidentals and the rhythmic accuracy that is required to play this movement as notated. The eighth note chordal accompaniment is very helpful in assisting accurate positioning of the notes. Playing a slow movement in a sustained and controlled way is a challenge and requires a different intensity than playing a movement in a moderate tempo. The realisation or video plays back at a tempo of 63 eighth note (quaver) beats to the minute although a tempo range from 60 to 66 eighth (quaver) notes to the minute is appropriate for the movement. and the ornaments are written out in full so what you see in the score is exactly what you hear. The sheet music music available from the PlentyMusic website has the symbols for the ornaments in place which understandably gives the score more visual clarity. The ornament markings in the sheet music score can be cross referenced with the video score and obviously with other recordings of the work. Players may wish to review the use of ornaments in the light of their own listening and study. Ornaments need to played rhythmically with clarity and consistency. There are a number of different ornaments that feature in the score. The music editor suggests omitting the ornaments win the early stages of learning the movement. The ornamentation in the realisation reflects current performance practice. As is the custom with the notation of baroque music there is very little score detail but understandably as the piano invites dynamic shading there is scope for interpretation and nuance in a performance.The movement ends with a Tierce de Picardy aka a Picardy third. This is essentially refers to the use of a major chord at the end of a piece in the minor key.

Bach J.S. | Third Movement: Presto from Concerto in D minor BWV 994

This is J.S. Bach’s transcription of a movement from Marcello’s oboe concerto. Bach was a great copier of music often making it suitable for performance on the organ. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/3375CPz

This is a keyboard arrangement of an oboe concerto attributed to the Venetian composer A. Marcello although Bach understood it to be a work by Vivaldi. J.S.Bach’s arrangement dates from 1715.

It is work that is performed on the piano, organ and harpsichord

The organ realisation of this the Third Movement: Presto plays back at 56 dotted quarter note beats to the minute and the repeat is not played.

In the video score the ornaments are written out in full.  Additional ornaments can be added at the performer’s discretion. The music editor suggests listening to available recordings of this work before making a judgement about possible additions that could be made.

Bach’s arrangement is mostly written in two parts is an excellent piece for a pianist to consider playing on the organ. The realisation utilises an 8’ Principal from a sample set. In a performance an organist could explore alternative registrations on the repeats.

Buxtehude D. | Fugue in G BuxWV 175

 Dietrich Buxtehude’s Fugue in G BuxWV 175 in an intermediate level piano or organ solo. It is an ideal introduction to fugue playing. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/2GuQynb

The three part Fugue in G BuxWV 175 originates as an organ work but readily transcribes as music that can be played on the piano. It is a movement featuring much imitation in the three lines of music. It is also divided into three sections and is more canzona than fugue. The music needs to be played very evenly with a lightness of touch. Entries of the subject in the voices need to be stated clearly. The challenge in playing music in this style is creating space and communicating the intentions and formal shape of the music. The playback tempo in the video score is 72 quarter note beats to the minute but the movement can be played at a quicker tempo if preferred. There is minimal score detail in the sheet music score as is the convention with music from this era. The music editor also suggests listening to some of the organ versions that exist readily accessible on streaming media and if opportunity allows play it on the organ. Buxtehude 1637 – 1707 was an important compose of the mid-baroque period and an important influence on J. S. Bach, G.F. Handel and G. P. Telemann. Whilst described as a German composer he considered to be Danish himself though the place he was born is now in Sweden! His place of work from 1668 was St. Mary’s Church, (Marienkirche) Lübeck and apart from his vocal music composed for church contexts there is a substantial amount of music for organ including preludes, toccatas and fugues, chorale settings and pieces based on repeating bass lines or ostinatos. It is worth exploring music from this era, originally intended for the organ and harpsichord, and playing it on the piano. Alan Feinberg’s CD “Fugal State” and Francesco Tristano “Long Walk” are two contemporary collections that include the keyboard music of Buxtehude played on the piano.

Buxtehude D. | Fugue in C BuxWV 174

Dietrich Buxtehude’s Fugue in C BuxWV 174 in an intermediate level piano or organ solo. Reminiscent of J.S.Bach’s Jig Fugue it is lively and attractive work. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/2GqET8T

 A fugue is not strictly a musical form but more a compositional style in which the process of imitation dominates in voices or lines of music described as counterpoint. Understand that the musical conception is in lines. The organ realisation plays back at 96 dotted quarter notes to the minute. The music editor suggests that if you have the technique and composure try to get to 110 dotted quarter notes to the minute as the music then really does seem to come alive. The dynamic range of this work is very much determined by the texture which varies from a single voice to four voices in varying combinations. In music of this time the score detail tends to be quite minimal and this score keeps to that practice. Buxtehude’s position in music history is very much overshadowed by J. S. Bach but Buxtehude did compose many fine keyboard works many of which transcribe well to the piano. This is an uplifting piece to both listen to and play having the rhythmic template of a jig and a “modern” sound attributable to the tonal ambiguities that result from the conflicting accidentals often in different lines of the music. For those interested in finding out more about this look up the term “false relation.” The subject entries need to be clearly articulated and a sense of forward movement needs to be communicated at all times by the piano/keyboard player.

In terms of the music setting there are some indications in the sheet music score as to which hand plays which line of the music and the player needs to have a clear understanding of the division of labour between the two hands. Ornaments do not feature in the score but can be added at the performers discretion once a clear understanding of the options have been appreciated from listening and analysing recordings and performances. There are just one or two pedal notes to worry about in the closing section.

Froberger J. J. | Canzona No 5 FbWV305

Froberger’s Canzona V is a work performed on both the organ and harpsichord. It is composed in three section ABC each being independent of the other. The music is conceived in 4 lines and imitation is a featured compositional process. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/2R1mhhK

 Johann Jacob Froberger (1616 – 1667) was a German baroque composer, harpsichordist and organist particularly remembered for creating and developing the keyboard suite.  The composer generally would not allow his music to be published so only his patrons and friends were familiar with his music. As recently as 2006 an autographed manuscript of his music was discovered. He was a pupil of Frescobaldi and spent time living and working in Vienna. Froberger’s keyboard works are performed on harpsichord, organ and piano. He composed toccatas and canzonas the latter of which are polyphonic imitative works .

The realization plays back at 88 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute in the A section, 76 dotted quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute in the B section and 80 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute in the final C section. When playing through the movement some thought does need to be given to the sharing of the lines between the two hands. There are moments in the score when there is tonal/modal ambiguity in the score. False relation is in evidence in the writing. This movement is evidence that the tonal system was not fully established and in place.

The thematic ideas in all three sections are of a lively and uplifting character. The tempo is much slower at the cadence points at the end of the three section. Cadence points also offer an opportunity for ornamentation that needs to be appropriate style. The music is conceived in 4 parts and where a part is not being sounded rests also indicated in the score. When played on a two manual organ the A+C section can be played on one manual and the B section on another. 8 ft stops would be an appropriate choice for the registration. Johann Jacob Froberger (1616 – 1667) was a German baroque composer, harpsichordist and organist particularly remembered for creating and developing the keyboard suite.  The composer generally would not allow his music to be published so only his patrons and friends were familiar with his music. As recently as 2006 an autographed manuscript of his music was discovered. He was a pupil of Frescobaldi and spent time living and working in Vienna.

Galuppi B. | First Movement: Allegro from the Organ Sonata in D minor

The First Movement Allegro from Baldassare Galuppi’s Organ Sonata in D minor is in AB binary form and the video score plays back at 96 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute Free sheet music score: https://bit.ly/3bv0HM2

For those who wish to have more information on how the ornaments are played then the music editor suggests referring to the video sheet music score on YouTube where the ornaments are written out in full. As an organ piece the movement can be effectively played on a one manual instrument  with possibly a choice of  8’ stops. This is music composed in the transition period between the baroque and classical.

The A section is just 10 bars long and essentially comprises has two contrasting musical ideas or strains a and b with each strain being 5 bars long. The section closes in the dominant key of A minor.  The B section is 20 bars long and opens with the same shape and strain as the first section but in A minor. Some new material is introduced at bar 16 and then after a few passing modulations the movement returns to the home key and opening strain of Section A at bar 23.

Baldassare Galuppi (1706 – 1785) was born on the Venetian island of Burano and whilst he worked in Vienna, London and St. Petersburg he was mostly based in Venice where he held a number of important musical positions. He is one of an important group of composers that link the baroque with the classical age and is identified particularly with the style galant movement.

Galuppi B. | Second Movement: Largo from the Organ Sonata in D minor


The Largo from the Organ Sonata in D minor is a binary form movement in 12/8. The realisation plays back at 42 dotted quarter note beats to the minute whilst the trills sound on the playing of the repeats. The sheet music comes with both a piano and organ score. This is a very good movement to transition piano players into playing the organ with two manuals and pedals. Free sheet music score: https://bit.ly/3byx0Kk

The music editor suggests playing through the music without ornamentation in the first instance then adding the trills on the repeat. The advice on the use or ornaments is that appropriateness and consistency should be the abiding criteria in a performance. Ornamentation is a complex issue particularly at this time in music history. Apart from the consideration of Italian style there is also the fact that Galuppi is one of those composers who links one musical age and with another in what was a time of much change in performance practice.

He composed a great number of works for keyboard instruments and was highly regarded as a performer. He also composed operas and sacred music. Galuppi’s music is not particularly well represented by publishers and one of the reasons for this is because of Napoleon’s invasion of Venice in 1797. As a consequence of this many of the composer’s  manuscripts were lost.

Galuppi B. | Third Movement: Allegro e spiritoso from the Organ Sonata in D minor

The uplifting third movement from Baldassare Galuppi’s Organ Sonata in D minor has strong rhythmic shapes and harmonic sequences.  Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/3218LBe

The video score plays back at 60 dotted quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute. A lightness in the registration is appropriate whilst the movement can be played the without repeats. There is a lovely exploration of space in this music with the rhythmic shapes being a strong feature of the musical content. Galuppi is one of an important group of composers that link the baroque with the classical age and is identified particularly with the “galant style” movement. Galuppi’s music is not particularly well represented by publishers and one of the reasons for this is because of Napoleon’s invasion of Venice in 1797.

Handel G. F. | Arrival of the Queen of Sheba                           

The “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” is a very popular piece and is often used as a wedding processional. This is shortened version in the key of G.  Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/2DEAqyA

This shortened version has just 36 bars and lasts for just over a minute which is often long enough for the purposes of most weddings. The sounding key of the organ arrangement is G major whilst the realisation plays back at a tempo of 100 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute. Three registrations are suggested and used in the realisation and are suggested for a performance. There is also a piano score attached to the organ score as the music can be quite satisfactorily played on the manuals. Playing the full version in the original key of Bb is quite a challenge and  because of the key changes closing off the music in the context of a wedding is both  unpredictable and o not easy. The sinfonia was originally scored for two oboes and strings and comes from Act III of Handel’s oratorio “Solomon.” The title the was given to the Sinfonia by Sir Thomas Beecham possibly in the 1930’s.

Handel G.F. |  Lascia ch’io pianga

The aria or song is taken from the opera Rinaldo which first appeared in 1711 and was revised in 1733.It is in ABA form and based on the sarabande rhythm which has the stress on the second beat of the three beats in a bar. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/331OSJF

When sung the Da Capo section would be an opportunity for the soloist to improvise and ornament the melody and this is option available to the organists although it is important to keep to the style and mood of the piece.

This is very appropriate music for a solemn processional in an organ playing context. The use of three registrations is suggested and are indicated in the score. Rests have been indicated in all parts so that players have a clear understanding of the voicing.

It is also a movement that invites interpretation and playing in different contexts

The arrangement is in the original key of F major although the tempo for the organ solo is more Larghetto than Largo which was the tempo indication in the opera. The video score plays back at a tempo of 66 half note or minim beats to the minute.

Rests are indicated in the score enabling players to have a clear understanding of the voicing of the musical lines. Moskowski has also arranged the movement for piano.

Muffat G.  | Fugue in G minor

Video Score Link:

 There are recordings of this work played on the piano, organ and harpsichord of this fine 4 part fugue now attributed to Gottlieb Muffat Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/3bAuwes

Gottlieb Muffat (1690 – 1770) the son of George Muffat was a court organist and composer in Vienna becoming first organist on the accession of Maria Theresa to the throne in 1741. His compositional output mostly comprises keyboard music although much of it was not published.

Toccatas, fugues, ricerare, canzonas and suites are to be found in his music collections and Handel often borrowed and reworked Muffat’s music.

 Muffat was a fine contrapuntist although a conservative approach is evident in his writing.

This piece is often attributed to G. Frescobaldi

 The chromatic element of this movement makes it a challenge to read and to complicate matters performances and sheet music copies of the music do vary in their detail. Players need to study the score carefully because at times the musical lines have conflicting accidentals. This is explained by the composer referencing the modes that originate in music from earlier times that create what are known as “false relations.”

 There is an arrangement by Bartok of this Fugue for piano although at the time he understood it to be a work by Frescobaldi.

There need to be clarity in the articulation of the lines particular when the fugal entries are made.

A tempo in the range 72 – 84 quarter note beats to the minute is suggested whilst in the realisation and video score play back at 80 quarter note beats to the minute.

One of the challenges for the player is deciding which hand plays which notes in the middle voices. The music editor will upload an edited music score to the website in the future. Players also need to communicate an awareness of the musical texture in their playing.

The trills begin on the note and modern performances often features additional ornaments although the music editor advises caution and consistency in their use. There are strong rhythmic motifs in the fugue and any ornamentation should not detract from the composer’s intention.  There are performances that suggest that the performance practice for music of this period is not as secure as music from more well researched times.

 Another challenge for musicians is understanding the pitch element in the music of the period. The tuning fork was invented in 1711 and the suggestion is that the pitch standard during the Baroque period was roughly a semitone layer than modern standard pitch of A4 = 440Hz. A4 in the Baroque period was = 415Hz although pitch levels did vary around Europe

 The chromatic element is a particular feature and there is a unifying downwards chromatic line that appears a number of times.

Scarlatti D. | Keyboard Sonata in D minor K.417

The Keyboard Sonata in D minor K.417 is a Fuga and can be performed on either the harpsichord, organ or piano and is believed to date from 1754. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/35bATn0

It is composed in a style that refences the past and the notation in long notes imitates the style of writing associated particularly with the polyphonic lines of church music. It has some beautiful soaring lines and is a great piece of music from both the playing and listening point of view. Domenico Scarlatti did not compose many fugues and whilst he worked in relative isolation his compositional approach anticipates and looks to the future rather than the past. His father, Alessandro was the one more inclined to compose fugues.

Domenico Scarlatti although born in Italy spent most of his working life employed by the Royal Courts in Portugal and Spain working as a musician, composer and teacher particularly of members of the royal household. His contribution to the repertoire are his 550+ keyboard sonatas most of which are very inventive pieces in AB binary form. Little of his music was published in his own lifetime.

Zipoli D. | Pastorale 

A beautiful movement in 12/8 time from the baroque Italian composer who studied with A. Scarlatti and B. Pasquini before working as a priest in South America. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/3592wx1

A pastorale is an instrumental composition usually in moderate tempo which suggests and evokes the life of a shepherd. Usually in 6/8  9/8 or 12/8 time they often feature a drone accompaniment reminiscent of the bagpipes, an instrument very much associated with shepherds. The use of thirds is another common feature and they are often played at Christmas. There are many examples from the repertoire including those by Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel and more recently.

The movement is in three sections. The first and last sections are in 12/8 and are played at 63 dotted quarter notes or crotchet beats to the minute. These two sections are 21 bar and 25 bars in length and are in similar character although the closing section is more chromatic. The second section is 11 bars long and in common time and is played at 100 quarter note beats to the minute. Ornamentation is in place for the 11 bar middle section. For pianists playing the organ there is only one pedal note to play.

The arrangement is for a two manual instrument and there is clear indication in the sheet music score as to which music is played on which manual. The movement can however be played quite satisfactorily on a one manual instrument. On the sheet music score Manual 1 refers to the swell and Manual 2 refers to the great.

In the instruments of Zipoli’s time changing the registration or choice of stops was effectively the only technique available to the organist to change the sound and volume. Modern instruments with swell pedals enabling the swell box to be opened and closed and change the volume were a much later invention. Three different registrations are suggested for playing the movement although only two are used in the realisation.

Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726) was an Italian Baroque composer who lived and worked as a Jesuit priest in South America. Born in Prato, near Florence he studied with Alessandro Scarlatti and Bernardo Pasquini and in Rome produced in 1716 a collection of keyboard pieces titled Sonate d’intavolatura per organo e cimbalo. This music is still highly regarded and playable by an intermediate level player.

Zipoli D. |  Canzona in F 

 

 A very attractive piece for organ or harpsichord just 56 bars in length but featuring strong musical shapes that explores the full range of the organ manual. Free sheet music link: https://bit.ly/3h4NlHN

A tempo in the range 84 – 96 quarter note beats to the minute is suggested with the realisation playing back at 84 quarter note beats to the minute.

 The movement can be played on a one manual instrument with an 8 foot stop suggested as an appropriate registration. Imitation, the use of sequence and repetition are compositional processes that feature with the full range of the keyboard being explored. The descending musical shapes and motifs need to be clearly articulated particularly at the beginning of phrases.

There are 12 ornaments indicated in the score. The upper mordent note /note above/note is used on short notes while the trill is in place on notes a quarter note (crotchet) in length. As the movement progresses the texture becomes more complex and ornaments become less evident in the score. The video score which can be viewed on the YouTube channel has all the ornaments written out whilst the sheet music score available from the PlentyMusic website has symbols in place for ornaments. Ornamentation in music performance is a complex topic and additional ornaments could be added at important cadence points. The music editor argues the case for clarity and simplicity suggesting that ornaments are added when the movement can be played competently. Note that rests in silent voices are used rather inconsistently

The music editor has found recordings of this music where it has been attributed to A. Scarlatti. As music was hand copied and often shared between teachers and pupils this is a frequent occurrence in music from these early times.

Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726) was an Italian Baroque composer who lived and worked as a Jesuit priest in South America. Born in Prato, near Florence he studied with Alessandro Scarlatti and Bernardo Pasquini and in Rome produced in 1716 a collection of keyboard pieces titled Sonate d’intavolatura per organo e cimbalo which includes this particular canzona. This music is still highly regarded and playable by an intermediate level player.

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