Organists who have intermediate level skills and want to play a recital have more options than beginners. This is because their technical abilities are somewhat more developed and naturally there is a wider variety of organ repertoire from which to choose. However, intermediate level organists still have to consider the instrument and the audience and create a program which has a nice variety of contrasts and unity. In this article, I will provide an example of organ recital program with the most famous organ works for intermediate level organists.
1) Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by J.S.Bach. This will be a spectacular opening of your recital. If you don't want to play the most popular organ piece ever written, try the majestic Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 546 by J.S.Bach or the Praeludium in C Major, BuxWV 137 by D.Buxtehude.
2) "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme," BWV 645 by J.S.Bach. This is one of the most beloved organ chorales by this composer. Written in a trio texture with the tune or the cantus firmus in the left hand.
3) "Von Gott will Ich nicht lassen," BWV 658 by J.S.Bach. A nice chorale prelude from the Leipzig collection. Character is soft and gentle.
4) Fugue in G Major, BWV 577 ("the Gigue") by J.S.Bach. This is a virtuosic fugue with the rhythms of the fast and hopping Baroque dance - a joyful gigue. Although the tempo is very fast, the pedal is largely straightforward and could be played using the alternate toe technique.
5) "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier," BWV 730 by J.S.Bach. A sweet chorale prelude with the chorale tune in the soprano.
6) "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier," BWV 731 by J.S.Bach. An alternate version of the above chorale with the highly ornamented tune presented in the soprano.
7) Fugue in G minor, BWV 578 ("Little") by J.S.Bach. Although this fugue is often called "Little", we should not underestimate its artistic quality. This is a classic and very well-known example of Bach's fugal writing.
8) Finale from Sonata No. 6 in D Minor, Op. 65 by F.Mendelssohn. A gentle closing movement of the D minor sonata. The intermediate level organist could also play the Fugue from this work. However, the first movement - the variations on the chorale "Vater unser im Himmelreich" will probably be a bit too advanced for this level.
9) "Les Bergers" from "Le Nativite du Seigneur" by O.Messiaen. A slow and meditative piece by one of the most famous composers of the 20th century. This is a great way to get to know the fantastic world of Messiaen's modes.
10) "Suite Gothique", Op. 25 by J.Boellmann. An excellent very well-known major work to conclude your recital. It is written in four parts. Perhaps the two most famous are the sweet and gentle "Priere a Notre Dame" (3rd movement) and the dark and virtuosic Toccata (the last movement).
You can use the pieces from the above list as it is or you can modify it according to your preference. Note that the program presented above is about 1 hour of duration (with registration changes) which is an optimum length for an organ recital. Get the sheet music and start practicing for your upcoming recital today.
By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe organ? If so, download my FREE video guide "How to Master Any Organ Composition" in which I will show you my EXACT steps, techniques, and methods that I use to practice, learn and master any piece of organ music: http://www.organduo.lt/organ-tutorial.html
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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