Organists who are conscious of historically informed performance practice know that the early music composed before about 1800 should generally be performed using the touch called articulate legato or Ordinary Touch as it was often called back in those days. Of course, some compositions have special legato signs and we must pay attention to them if they are original.
However, if you are following this articulate legato principle honestly in every voice (even in the middle parts), then there is an inherent danger to go with articulation too far. One of the possible pitfalls is to play everything too detached which can make you pieces sound too choppy or even comical.
Another danger is playing with some good articulation but articulating too much at the end of musical figure (a triplet or a group of sixteenths etc). This kind of playing prevents your music from natural flow. It seems like you are hesitating because of lack of practice when, in fact you might know the piece fairly well to play it fluently.
But this very pronounced articulation makes your musical line stop and the general feeling non musician listener would have is a sense of boredom. So what you can do about it?
I believe this is not so difficult to fix because all you need to do it pretend you are playing legato but using one finger only. In fact, you can even check a specific spot in your music while playing with one finger but aim the musical line to sound as legato as possible. Then attempt to recreate the same articulation using your normal fingering.
Bach would call it cantabile manner of playing. Cantabile means singing or singable style. Actually try to really sing along when you are practicing your piece. "Sing each line", my professor Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra used to say.
Of course, don't play some of the notes legato and some with articulation. Be very systematic. Also don't make the last note of the group of notes too short because it will create a larger break which in turn prevent your playing to have a natural sense of flow and direction.
By the way, do you want to learn my special powerful techniques which help me to master any piece of organ music up to 10 times faster? If so, download my video Organ Practice Guide.
DON'T MISS A THING! FREE UPDATES BY EMAIL.
You have successfully joined our subscriber list.
Our Hauptwerk Setup:
Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.