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.
See the Organ Music Tutorial Series overview for links to more organ videos and information about them. There you will also be able to read more about Jonathan Kingston and the organs being played in this series.
About Composer Flor Peeters
Flor Peeters’ Festival Voluntary features on the ABRSM Grade 6 organ syllabus. It 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:
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Regent Classic Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.