January 1, 2020--Prelude in E minor no. 2 from L'Organiste by Cesar Franck

An easy piece today from the collection entitled L'Organiste by Cesar Franck. It comes from a collection of 59 moderately easy pieces that Franck wrote to be used within the church service as offertories, preludes, and postludes. This particular piece comes from a series of 7 preludes in E minor and E major (it is no. 2 in this grouping) The pieces were originally intended to be played on the harmonium, a type of reed organ which the performer would pump the bellows with their feet and play all the pitches on the manuals, but are often performed on the organ today. I used it as a teaching piece for one of my organ students in the fall and felt I should try to get a recording of it.

The prelude is written in a ternary (ABA) form with the basic melodic line switching between the bass clef in the outer section and the treble clef in the middle section. I chose a different registration than called for by using the strings and celeste 8' in the swell (upper manual) and coupling the choir, swell, and great together to use the Dolcan stop and clarinet on the Choir with the Bourdon on the Great. This allowed for a bit of expressive diminuendo and crescendo as needed, but also a subtle reed stop for color.

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Very nice. The two reeds are perhaps a bit dominant against the strings, but that impression could well be caused by listening to the music on my tablet. Tablets are not exactly known for their hifi-qualities...

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