Musical contribution - November 2020

Toccata and chorale "Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven"                        Sander van den Houten (born 1987)

(LiVE sample set: Parijs, Cavaillé-Coll)

There continues to be a great demand – including where the Musical Contribution is concerned – for choral arrangements. Regardless of your preferred organ style or the country you live in, many of you love chorales, perhaps because many of you play the organ for Sunday church services. And naturally, we’re more than happy to take your wishes into account.

In addition to presenting existing organ music, I also regularly ask one of my colleagues to write something for the Musical Contribution, and that’s the case this month. During the COVID-19 outbreak, many organ lovers in the Netherlands have watched organ marathons. One of the organists who has participated almost every time was Sander van den Houten. Although we already knew each other and had even worked together before, we weren’t frequently in contact. However, the organ marathons changed that, and led to me asking him a few weeks ago to write something especially for all of you. With his trademark enthusiasm, he set to work energetically right away, and just a few days later the fruits of his labors arrived in my mailbox.

After 16 bars of Toccata come the first two lines of the chorale with beautiful, spiced harmonies. And this then alternates back and forth until we reach the chorale. Of course, you can double the melody.

Although this arrangement is suitable for every conceivable type of organ, after consultation with Sander I have chosen Paris. Not least to enrich the chorale lines in the Toccata with growling reeds, with a closed swell box.

In the first week of October 2020, I was in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in The Hague, where Sander is the regular organist. I think it should sound great there, too. Feel free to take a look at his website and enjoy this beautiful arrangement.

 

Warm regards,

André van Vliet

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