A List of Some of My Favorite Organ Pieces
- The “Little” Prelude in C Major by JS Bach —
because I can still hear myself singing the rhythm of the cadential trills as I pedaled my bicycle home from an organ lesson
- The hymn “For All the Saints” —
because #526 in the now “old” Methodist Hymnal became an immediate favorite as I romped through it for Sunday School warm-ups
- “Climb Every Mountain” —
because my Mom and I played the best organ/piano rendition of this Julie Andrews classic for years and years and years
- “The Entrance of the Queen of Sheba” from Handel’s Jeptha —
because that piece renewed my energy and spirit through a long year of graduate degree studies
- Mulet’s “Tu es Petra” —
because when I performed it on the great organ of Ripon Cathedral the sounds filled every nook and cranny of that mighty cathedral
- Liszt’s “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Sagen” —
because I learned it with my incredible teacher Guy Bovet
- “Suite breve” by Langlais —
because I can still hear the amazing sounds of the Grands Jeux echoing through the West Point Cadet Chapel
- JS Bach’s “Christians Rejoice”
because it is my husband’s favorite Bach organ piece, it is in our Bach and Sons program and I love playing it
- Jeremiah Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary” —
because I’ve performed it on organs great and small on five different continents
- The chorale “Was Gott tut ist wohlgetan” from Liszt’s “Weinen, Klagen” —
because it has healing, calming, restorative powers
- “Blithely Breezing Along” by Stephen Paulus —
because it is great fun to play this uniquely American music
- JS Bach’s “Komm Heiliger Geist” —
because it was the perfect piece to play on the stunning historic Silbermann organ of the St. Petri Kirche in Freiberg, Germany
- The “St. Anne Fugue” by Johann Sebastian Bach —
because it is the most awesome and most perfect organ piece ever composed.
That’s my list for now. Why not make your own list to reflect on the joys, challenges, and successes of the past before we charge ahead renewed and invigorated for the coming year. I’d love to read your list. Send it to me at email@example.com
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, creator of organ and media events and concert organist
Summer is often regarded as a time of refreshment, rejuvenation, inspiration, and relaxation. The spring editions of our professional journals list pages and pages of courses, conventions, classes, and camps to refresh our souls and bodies and prepare our minds and spirits for the work of the year ahead.
Musicians often work and live as much in the future as in the present. When one worship service ends, the preparation for another six weeks to six months ahead begins. When one concert performance comes to a resounding and successful conclusion, the promotion of concerts years in advance begins anew. Before the applause for well-prepared students performing in their spring student recital dies away, the scheduling of the next session of lessons has already been done. As one newsletter is sent, others are well underway. Hence the “that was then, this is now, but what lies in the near and distant future is really important” becomes the mantra of a busy musician.
So when should we take time to look back? to enjoy our past accomplishments? to learn from past successes? As a forward-thinking, forward-looking musician and person, looking back and taking time for reflection can be a challenge, but also a great joy.
Some years ago while pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, I was required to write “Reaction Papers” on every subject imaginable. The papers, while rather annoying to write, did force me to look at a situation, person, class, professor, or challenge in a deeper way than I might have. Maybe we should each take on the summer challenge of not necessarily writing “Reflection Papers” but at least taking the time to reflect on the joys, challenges, and successes of the past year before we charge ahead renewed and invigorated for the coming year. What do you think? Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist
Summer has arrived
Our daisies fill our front yard with perfect white blooms, my favorite Kansas sunflowers fill a vase in our living room, and our glorious petunias welcome students and friends to our front door. The ocean is a gorgeous blue this time of year reflecting an equally blue sky. Summer at the Oregon beach has arrived and all I can say is, “WOW!”
As we enjoy those “WOWs” of summer in Oregon, the summer is also a time to create or re-live some “WOW” moments in our music-making:
- David and I had the thrill of performing our Bach and Sons show at the Regional American Guild of Organists convention in late June.
- Last week I received from Adrienne Tindall of Darcey Press several volumes of new organ music and another composer sent an organ suite to me to preview. Another summer “WOW” for me as I began playing through some interesting and creative new music.
- David and I will share some reflections of past “WOW!” music-making moments in our July/August Pro-Motion Music newsletter.
So what will be your musical “WOW!” moments this summer? Will you…
- discover a new piece to learn?
- perform a favorite piece at worship or for friends in your home?
- complete a goal?
- plan your fall recital music?
- listen to recordings of your past performances on the student web page?
- attend a concert or workshop?
- play a fabulous organ?
Happy practicing and happy music-making and music-sharing as you create your “WOWs!” this summer.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist