Sheet music

Musical contribution - A. van Vliet - July 2011

bladmuziek met potlood

Dear Organist, I was looking for a number of compositions by French composers who – in my opinion – have been pushed into the background somewhat, just as we are getting ready for our annual holiday, which will take us to France again this year.

And even though Jac.Nic. Lemmens was officially from Belgium, we still include his name with the French organ school. Not least as a result of well known students like Mailly, Guilmant and Widor. Born in Zoerle, his first lessons were given by his father. He later studied at the Royal Music Academy in Brussels. His study had to be interrupted for over a year as a result of his father being ill. Once he returned, he graduated in the shortest possible time and achieved first prizes for organ and composition. He continued to study in Germany with Adolph Hesse following a recommendation by his teacher Fétis. But he wasn’t satisfied with these lessons and discontinued them, after which he returned to Brussels and was appointed as an organ teacher in the aforementioned Music Academy. He published his “Ecole ‘d Orgue” (1862) in this capacity.

The “prière” was derived from this method and demands specific attention for legato playing. The right hand plays a chorale with a Voix Humaine. However, please note, this is a different stop compared to our Dutch Vox Humana. This concerns a very soft stop. Preferably in a swell box, resulting in the left hand even being audible with a single 8’ flute. If such a stop isn’t possible, then the combination of Voix Celeste et Gamba is also very nice.

So this is how this Belgian organ virtuoso continues to teach us a little something. But we wouldn’t be doing him any justice if this is all we used his work for. This is why I want to share this with you. In the hope you will learn something from it and allow others to enjoy it. Personally I hope to be playing as part of a concert several times throughout the summer.

Enjoy the summer!

André van Vliet