On Monday we had our organ studio "Unda Maris" rehearsal at Vilnius University where I teach members of the University to play organ. At one point one student (who studies chemistry) played the Canon by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis to us and I've noticed that his left hand technique was not as developed as the right hand. This was especially noticeable when I asked him to play the left hand and pedal combination for us. While he was playing it, he placed his free right hand on the bench which in a way served as a crutch.
Then I asked this student play this combination again with his right hand raised and observe his feeling. Afterwards he told us that it was a strange feeling, he felt his attention shift to the raised hand, his tempo was slower, and yet he succeeded with this exercise.
I asked him how he managed to do this and we came to the conclusion that the key here was to really focus on the left hand. It was more difficult of course when he was holding his right hand high in the air but it wasn't impossible.
After him another student (who studies physics) played his own organ arrangements of music from computer games he likes to play. He voluntarily raised one of his hands from time to time as he tried to play his arrangement with just one hand and pedals. Sometimes the right hand and sometimes the left hand was up in the air.
Finally, I told them the story when I was a student at the Lithuanian Academy of Music long time ago and during one of the first lessons, Prof. Leopoldas Digrys, a legendary Lithuanian organist and teacher, asked me to play very independent pedal part of one composition by Bach with both of my hands raised. This way, he explained, no bench and no crutch can help you and you will have no choice but to figure out the way to play the pedals independently.
You too, can try raising one or both hands in the air while you play the rest of the parts and see how you feel.
Sight-reading for today:
Allegretto Grazioso by Alfred Hollins (1865-1942), an English organist, composer and teacher.
A few days ago I have shared with you my video of Canon in Ab major for organ by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911). Ciurlionis was a genius Lithuanian artist and composer who died at the young age of 35 being a visionary who continue to inspire people for generations to come.
Some people have asked me about the score of this piece. Although I'm playing this Canon as well as his other works for organ from the special organ edition which was published just a few years ago, I found this score of Canon in Ab Major in the original piano notation prepared by Stepas Bidva.
If you want to play it on the organ, simply assign the lowest voice (dotted half notes for the most part) to the pedals (soft 16' and 8' stops). The right hand part with the canon sounds best if played with the solo registration on the separate manual (8' and 4' flutes). For the left hand part choose one or two soft 8' stops.
Today in Lithuania we celebrate the birthday of the most significant and the most internationally reknown Lithuanian painter and composer, Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911). On this occasion, I invite you to solve this puzzle and listen to his Fugue in C# minor and Canon in Ab major for organ. This is the excerpt of the recital of the Lithuanian organ music I played on August 23, 2014 in Vilnius University St. John's church.
DON'T MISS A THING! FREE UPDATES BY EMAIL.
You have successfully joined our subscriber list.
Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Our Hauptwerk Setup: