John Collins - Organist, Harpsichordist Iberian Musicologist, Translator

August 19th 2008. St Mary de Haura Shoreham. Organ music by composers whose anniversaries were commemorated in 2008

Marianus Königsperger 1708-69Preambulum com fuga Sexti Toni
John Blow 1647-1708Voluntary 10 in G
John Travers ca 1703-1758Voluntary 5 in D (Trumpet)
Voluntary 6 in A (Flute)
Josep Gallès 1758-1836Obra de 5 Tono punto Alto
Ignazio Spergher 1734-1808Sonata in Bb
Thomas Adams 1785-1858Voluntary 4 in F (Cremona)
Carlos Baguer 1768-1808Sonata in C

Marianus Königsperger was organist in the Abbey of Prüfening South Germany, where he composed much vocal and instrumental music, from the profits of which he financed the rebuilding and extension of the abbey organ! This prelude and fugue is taken from a set of eight, one on each of the church Tones and is less torturously chromatic than some of the others in the collection.

John Blow was organist of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal and numbered Henry Purcell amongst his pupils. He left over 30 Voluntaries in MSS; this example is in two movements, each of which is fugal, the second being based on a lively canzona-like rhythm.

John Travers was organist of St Paul’s, Covent Garden from 1726 and also of Fulham Parish Church and from 1737 also of the Chapel Royal. His set of 12 Voluntaries was published in 1769, these two belong to the “first voluntary” genre, ie played during the service, and are in the traditional two movements, a slow introduction for the diapasons being followed by a lively movement for a solo stop.

Josep Gallès was organist at the cathedral of Vic in Catalunya and left two sets of versos on the eight Tones for organ and 23 sonatas better suited to stringed keyboard instruments. This lengthy but light fugal movement is in D (the 5th Tone of C being transposed one “point” higher). I am most grateful to my colleague Martin Voortman for sending me the computer-set copy enabling me to give this piece what is almost certainly its first performance in the UK

Ignazio Spergher was organist at Treviso cathedral and published 6 three- movement sonatas, in addition to which he left several in MSS including this attractive Allegretto in two repeated halves with its sections for piano and forte.

Thomas Adams, organist of St George, Camberwell from 1824 and St Dunstan’s in the West from 1832, was the last representative of the Georgian school of English composers and left several sets of Voluntaries, Fugues, Variations and multi-movement Pieces. This work in two movements is taken from a set of six published ca 1825; the first movement features a solo for the RH headed Oboe, but since the organ here does not possess this stop I shall play it on the Cremona, a broadly similar reed. The highly developed orchestral writing shows the assimilation of the galant style. The gently imitative second movement is for soft stops on the Choir manual.

Carlos Baguer was organist of the Barcelona cathedral, succeeding his uncle Francesc Mariner in 1789. He left many sonatas and rondos for keyboard in MSS, this vivacious example reminding us clearly of the influence of Haydn and Mozart in the peninsula.

A retiring collection will be taken on behalf of the Shoreham Lifeboat Appeal.

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© John Collins 2013