dang organ composers and alexanders ragtime technique

No piano class this morning so I don’t have to rush off. I do meet with my boss at church at 9:30. That always a pleasure.

In between all the other things I have been doing, I have been working on some cool organ music.

Sunday for the prelude I am playing a chorale prelude by Leo Sowerby on the tune PICARDY (Let All Mortal Flesh).  I  have owned this music since before I started studying organ. It’s kind of long but it’s beautiful (IMO). I am glad to finally perform this piece in the context of the Episcopal church. It’s based on a tune I first learned from the Hymnal 1940. It was paired with the words by Ralph Vaughn Williams (the atheist) in his wonderful 1933 collection The English Hymnal with tunes.

This is the new one. My copy of the old looks much like this. Similar color.

Leo Sowerby, who won the 1946 pulitzer prize for composition, was born in Grand Rapids Michigan. He spent most of his working musical life in Chicago. I think of him as a midwestern Episcopalian composer, so it’s fun to learn and perform his music for an Episcopalian situation. His stuff is quite well written even if a tad obscure.

I guess I like obscure composers.

Also working on some organ music by Distler and Calvin Hampton.

Hugo Distler
Calvin Hampton

The tension is my shoulder is gradually ebbing. I have been reading in How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live: Learning the Alexander Technique to Explore Your Mind-Body Connection and Achieve Self-Mastery. And also doing some of the experiments/exercises she describes. These are very simple and are the same things I learned in my few Alexander Technique lessons.

My colleague, Michelle Rego, who is a fantastic pianist and musician, commented on Facebook that she has been helped by Alexander Technique and that this book is one of the good ones.

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