Organ Sound Colours, Vol. 1

Contents

  • Trumpet Tune in G
  • Postlude on “Forty Days & Forty Nights”
  • Processional
  • Prelude on “There is a Green Hill Far Away”
  • Dance on B.A.C.H.
  • Prelude on “Drop, Drop Slow Tears”
  • Postlude on “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”
  • Improvisation
  • Scherzo
  • Intermezzo
  • Postlude on “Thine Be The Glory”
  • Sortie in Bb

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Description

New from Parish Publications, an exciting organ album entitled ‘Organ Sound Colours’ (Volume 1) ‘ by Ian Higginson (PPOSCS001). A versatile collection of 12 contrasting pieces, some original compositions, and some based on well-known hymn tunes, varying in difficulty and style, which are suitable for all occasions. Introductory price for July 2020 only, £18.50 – Normal Price £20.00 Album includes: Trumpet Tune in G ~ Postlude on “Forty Days & Forty Nights” ~ Processional ~ Prelude on ‘There is a Green Hill Far Away”~ Dance on B.A.C.H. ~ Prelude on “Drop, Drop Slow Tears” ~ Postlude on “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” ~ Improvisation ~ Scherzo ~ Intermezzo ~ Postlude on ‘Thine Be The Glory” ~ Sortie in Bb. This is the first book in the new ‘Sound Colour Series,’ which seeks to explore a great deal of tonal variety and one which illustrates a wide range of instrumental and vocal music from the pen of this prolific composer.

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Reviews

The young organist, having successfully accomplished Rinck’s first three months (a not inconsiderable achievernent in itself) may well wish to explore this eminently practical and highly attractive set of twelve original organ pieces by lan Higginson ~ ‘all occasions’ are certainly covered in this fascinating and original set of short studies. Such is the author’s natural musicianship and command of his instrument that one may defy any organist, on opening this volume, not to wish to play one or more of the pieces immediately – such are their inherent individual qualities.

The presentation is excellent and this practical publication is strongly recommended ~ one or more could
well form short recital ‘encores’

Although some very well-known melodies are used for the basis of individual pieces in this collection, I found the most fascinating and compelling piece to he Higginson’s original ‘Improvisation’ – but it requires a finished technique from the performer.

– Robert Matthew-Walker, “The Organ”

There is much that is attractive – catchy even – in this unashamedly tonal music. That lan Higginson is an organist is obvious since these pieces fit well under the hands and feet, but (caveat emptor!) the standard is largely around Grado 7+.

Trumpet Tune sets the standard in terms of craftsmanship and appeal. Though in G major rather than the usual D, it is typical of its genre. The contral section is in Bb which, while hardly revolutionary, comes as a (not unpleasant) surprise.

Many of the pieces are suitable as final voluntaries: Postlude on “40 Days & 40 Nights”, Processional, Postlude on ‘Jesus Cluist is Risen Today’, Improvisation, and Postlude on ‘Thine be the Glory’. They are characterised by vigorous rhythms, effective contrasts and a colourful harmonic vocabulary with an abundance of diatonic dissonances and occasional false relations. Bach final chord includes a 6th or 9th in the manuals and a quint in
the pedals. I suspect Dr Higginson’s compositional process may involve improvisation and therefore the titl of the Improvisation seems ironic given the un-improvisatory nature of this rathor grand march. The quieter pieces (Prelude of ‘There is a green hill’, Prelude on ‘Drop, drop slow tears’) are easier than the louder numbers and could prove useful bofore a service. The two remaining compositions, Dance on B.A.CH. and Scherzo, are perhaps better suited to concert use, They are tricky little devils!

1 am glad to have made the acquaintance of this music and look forward to seeing what future volumes contain.

– Chris Maxim, “Organists’ Review”