Regent Classic’s musical tutorial videos for 2017 feature pieces from the ABRSM organ examination syllabus. Organist Jonathan Kingston gives you a short introduction to each piece, offering some background and tips about performance and registration. We hope they’re useful if you’re preparing for one of these exams yourself. If you’re not, just sit back and enjoy seeing and hearing Jonathan play one of our beautiful custom instruments in the beautiful setting of St. Mary’s, Witney!
About Composer Flor Peeters
Flor Peeters’ Festival Voluntary features on the ABRSM Grade 6 organ syllabus, and is a relatively short, spiky piece that could be useful for Sunday mornings after the service. It is dedicated to Peeters’ dear friend, Reverend Father Canon Titus Timmerman.
Peeters, who died in 1986, was one of a relatively small number of reasonably well-known Belgian composers. His wide-ranging output has a strong tendency towards modal harmonies, and is predominantly for the organ, although there are a few piano works, some songs and some choral music.
Having become at almost the same time organist of St Rumbold’s Cathedral and a teacher at the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen, these were posts that would define the remainder of his working life. He was an enthusiastic recitalist, having undertaken some 1200 organ recitals both at home and abroad during the course of his life.
The Festival Voluntary – How to play
The Festival Voluntary is essentially a piece that demands bright registrations, relying strongly on the mixtures and possibly some mutation stops for a touch of spice. While 8′ and/or 4′ reeds are specified in places, if these are to be used it’s probably best if they are of a lighter/brighter continental quality, as opposed to the fuller tromba tone of say a Willis or a Harrison. That’s what you’ll hear when Jonathan uses occasional instances of reeds in the chorus on this Regent Classic organ.
As Jonathan points out in his introduction, Peeters marks his phrasing and registration intentions clearly on the score, and the player would be well advised to stick closely to them. The dynamic of the piece doesn’t drop below mezzo-forte, and there’s not much opportunity here to introduce quieter or more mellow registrations, but Jonathan suggests that there’s the opportunity to introduce a degree of tonal variety.
As we reach the conclusion there is the opportunity to add some power with suitable Great reeds. Peeters suggests the possibility of adding a manual 16′ and pedal 32′ for the last two chords (although these shouldn’t make the texture too muddy).
If you would like to watch the Festival Voluntary video tutorial right now – here it is:
About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background
Jonathan was an organ student while studying with Ian Tracey and Ian Wells at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral before being appointed Sub Organist at Bradford Cathedral, aged 18. Assistant Director and Director of Music appointments followed at Stowe and Bromsgrove Schools before an appointment to The King’s School in Ely where he served Ely Cathedral as a deputy organist.
Jonathan is a recording artist for Naxos, Priory and EMI Records and is an ABRSM examiner and coordinator touring the UK and internationally. As an organist, he has appeared with many leading orchestras and choirs including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Halle, London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and English Symphony Orchestra as well as featuring in many live broadcasts on BBC radio and television.
He is the newly appointed Director of Music at Stony Stratford Parish Church where he presides over the magnificent Willis pipe organ.
Jonathan’s Work With Regent Classic
I am pleased to have Jonathan working with us – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. He would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Organ Played In This Tutorial
Jonathan plays this piece on our instrument buit especially for the Boston AGO of 2014. This has 69 speaking stops spread over 3 manuals and pedals. It is based on the very successful physical modelling ‘Physis’ sound technology used in all standard Viscount instruments. This particular instrument has a real oak console with Walnut draw stops and Walnut and Bone UHT keyboards. It has a internal library of over 500 alternative voice samples allowing the user to create totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic. For more information have a look at its specifications here.