Pulse, articulate legato and heels
Today I had our 3rd Unda Maris organ studio rehearsal this year. The church was rented out for some event so we played at the Aula Parva on a single manual Baroque organ with pedals. There were 6 people present - Diana, Grazvydas, Karolina, Franziska, Rokas and Justas. All but Diana and Justas are starting to play the organ only this year. One lady went to the church instead and didn't find my message in time. A couple of other students wrote to me saying they couldn't make it today.
Diana had to leave the earliest so she started the first and played a chorale "Wer nur den liebe Gott lass walten" by Johann Ludwig Krebs (2 outer voices only). I recommended she start feeling the pulse to get the music flowing.
Grazvydas brought a little Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 558. I taught him to use articulate legato and play with one finger only to discover the ideal touch.
Karolina at first started to play a hymn but she didn't have the music and really could handle 4 part harmony. Instead I asked her to play the 1st Short Trio by Jacques Nicolas Lemmens. I wanted her to start practicing in 7 different combinations for the next time.
Franziska also played the same trio but I wanted her to shift her body position easily by pushing off with the right foot when the melody moves downward and with the left foot when the melody ascends. She discovered the need for organist shoes with heels.
Rokas brought the Three Part Sinfonia in F major by J.S. Bach. Since he used a rather antiquated edition, I recommended he ignore the slurs and play the mordents from the upper note. For the next time he should also choose one of the Little Preludes and Fugues to work on.
The last was Justas who showed to Rokas the little Prelude and Fugue in A minor which he played last year. Maybe Rokas will pick that one. Justas also played one piece from some movie arranged for manuals only. He added his own pedal line.
I'm looking forward to our rehearsal next week. Tomorrow I plan on creating a special team for Unda Maris on Basecamp for internal communication because I've noticed how inefficient email is (I can't even find my Unda Maris list on the phone so I'm stuck to either responding to earlier messages or writing on the laptop which not always is possible, like today when I had to change the place of the rehearsal on a short notice.)
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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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