Sheet music

Musical contribution - October 2011

Dear organist,

Church organists always welcome psalm arrangements.  We are very lucky in this country to have such an abundance of beautifully written works.  From quite large pieces to miniature ones, from medieval to contemporary, from very simple to music with a very high degree of difficulty – there are new or rediscovered editions in all facets every single year.

There will even be 150 at the same time during the forthcoming month.  And all by one and the same organist:  Marco den Toom.  Still quite a young organist, who comes up with regular contributions, also where compositions and arrangements are concerned.

We can very easily answer the question as to whether there is a need for a chorale book in addition to the existing ones by, for example, Worp, Landsman, Drenth, Zwart, Sanderman, Den Boer and Nieuwenhuijse.  Many church organists enjoy having as extensive an assortment of preludes and harmonisations as possible.  The handy thing about this publication is that it offers possibilities to, for example:

  • shorten a prelude

  • extend it

  • start halfway through

Thereby ensuring the entire prelude can be used, for example, during the collection song and, if so required, a shortened version in response to the reading or profession of faith.

We have chosen one of the 150 Psalms for this month.  A beautiful leading voice in the tenor position, which can later also be heard in the soprano.  You will hear the Vox Humana as c.f. here, but a different stop – which suits this psalm’s appeal – is certainly also perfectly possible.  I have played the chorale on one keyboard.  However, a clear leading voice (for example a cornet) is also a good option, as this concerns a reasonably unknown melody.

As you can hear, I am playing the first half of the intro as the postlude.  I have done this to demonstrate the fact that – I feel – this chorale book offers plenty of possibilities.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy it and that the complete edition will find its way to many organ consoles.

André van Vliet