New teaching material for organists by Peter Ouwerkerk

by Peter Ouwerkerk | Het ORGEL | Year 97 | (2001) | Issue 2

Peter Ouwerkerk New teaching material for organists
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 1, 37-42 [summary]

In 2000, Jérome Faucheur published his organ method J’apprends l’Orgue.His point of departure is a strict legato. Lessons in playing the pedal are offered quitesoon. Rather quickly they become so difficult that balance between the tasks of the handsand the feet is completely lacking. Faucheur’s method stands in the tradition ofLemmens and Dupré.

John Brock’s Introduction to Organ Playing in 17th and 18th Century Styleoffers a well-considered introduction to non-legato playing, easy enough for beginners butalso useful for more experienced organists who want to get acquainted with 17th- and18th-century styles as well. Brock pays special attention to controlling the release ofthe keys. A Dutch edition would be desirable.

Sandra Soderlund edited the eight short Preludes and Fugues, the two-part Inventionsand the four Duets of Johann Sebastian Bach in a series entitled ‘An AnnotatedPerformer’s Edition’, which offers a great deal of useful information on playingtechnique. Soderlund refers to the context of the music by paying attention to historicaldance patterns and rhythms, and to the way traverso-players articulate. Unfortunately shedoes not treat the relation between historical fingering and realising a differentiatedarticulation on the organ. Furthermore, it is a pity that the series gives the impressionthat it is meant as a ‘do-it-yourself course’.

Studying these methods makes one wish for a proper Dutch method, which should devoteattention to tasteful music making, attack and release of tones, learning to play thepedal in a natural way in combination with attaining a healthy and effective posture, and– last but least – learning to improvise. The new method of Sietze de Vries, ‘Harmoniseren– Een methode ter ondersteuning en bevordering van het improviseren in hetorgelonderwijs’, unfortunately does not add much to what is already offered bythe methods of Bert Matter/Peter Molenaar and Stephen Taylor; continuation of DeVries’s book is necessary to make improvisation an effective part of his method.