Organ concerto

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An organ concerto is a piece of music, an instrumental concerto for a pipe organ soloist with an orchestra. The form first evolves in the 18th century, when composers including Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel wrote organ concertos with small orchestras, and with solo parts which rarely call for the organ pedal board. During the Classical period organ concerto became popular in many places, especially in Bavaria, Austria and Bohemia (whether called there a concerto, pastorella, or sonata), reaching a position of being almost an integral part of the church music tradition of jubilus character. From the Romantic era fewer works are known. Finally, there are some 20th- and 21st-century examples, of which the concerto by Francis Poulenc has entered the basic repertoire, and is quite frequently played.

The organ concerto form is not usually taken to include orchestral works that call for an organ used as an extra orchestral section, examples of which include the Third Symphony of Camille Saint-Saëns, Gustav Holst's The Planets or Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra.

List of organ concertos[edit]

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)[edit]

  • D minor for violin, organ and strings, RV 541
  • F major for violin, organ and strings, RV 542 (allegro, lento, allegro)
  • C major for violin, cello, organ and strings, RV 554a
  • F major for 2 violins, 2 organs and double orchestra, RV 584 (incomplete)
  • C minor for violin, organ and strings, RV 766
  • F major for violin, organ and strings, RV 767
  • C major for violin, organ and strings, RV 774 (incomplete)
  • F major for violin, organ and strings, RV 775 (incomplete)
  • C major for 2 organs and strings, RV 793 (incomplete)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)[edit]

There is no clearly named "organ concerto" (i.e., for organ and orchestral ensemble) by Bach, but several cantata movements contain extensive obbligato organ parts. Versions of six of these cantata movements had a later incarnation in the two harpsichord concertos BWV 1052 and BWV 1053. Cantata 35 contains two instrumental Sinfonias with organ solo, the first of which agrees with the fragmentary keyboard concerto BWV1059. [1]. (A recording of a reconstruction of this as an organ concerto was made by Ton Koopman. [2])

Bach's admiration for Vivaldi and the Italian style led to several transcriptions of instrumental concertos for solo organ, without an orchestra:

BWV key source movements
BWV 592 G major after Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar
Transcription of a concerto for violin, strings and continuo
allegro, grave (E minor), presto
BWV 593 A minor after Antonio Vivaldi
Based on op. 3 no. 8 for 2 violins and basso continuo (RV 522)
allegro (or Tempo Giusto), adagio (D minor) senza pedale a due claviere, allegro
BWV 594 C major after Antonio Vivaldi
Based on op. 7 no. 5 for violin and basso continuo (RV 208)
allegro, adagio (A minor), recitativ, allegro - cadenza - allegro
BWV 595 C major After Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar Uses the first movement only.
BWV 596 D minor after Vivaldi
Based on op. 3 no. 11 - RV 565
allegro - grave - fuga, largo e spiccato, finale allegro
BWV 597 E flat major unknown composer Gigue

George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)[edit]

Handel wrote organ concertos as interludes for his oratorios—playing the organ part himself while directing the orchestra. Some are arrangements of his earlier works, or of works by other composers. For more details see the list of Handel's concertos. Many alternatives exist, so it is difficult to precisely number his organ concertos, however it is generally accepted that he wrote 16:

  1. HWV 289 - Op. 4 No. 1 in G minor: larghetto, allegro, adagio, andante
  2. HWV 290 - Op. 4 No. 2 in B flat major: tempo ordinario, allegro, adagio, allegro ma non troppo
  3. HWV 291 - Op. 4 No. 3 in G minor: adagio, allegro, adagio, allegro
  4. HWV 292 - Op. 4 No. 4 in F major: allegro, andante, adagio, allegro
  5. HWV 293 - Op. 4 No. 5 in F major: larghetto, allegro, alla siciliana, presto
  6. HWV 294 - Op. 4 No. 6 in B flat major: andante, allegro, larghetto, allegro moderato
  7. HWV 306 - Op. 7 No. 1 in B flat major: andante, allegro, largo, adagio, allegro
  8. HWV 307 - Op. 7 No. 2 in A major: overture, tempo ordinario, tempo ordinario II, allegro
  9. HWV 308 - Op. 7 No. 3 in B flat major: allegro, fuga, spiritoso, minuets 1 & 2
  10. HWV 309 - Op. 7 No. 4 in D minor: adagio, allegro, adagio, allegro
  11. HWV 310 - Op. 7 No. 5 in G minor: allegro ma non troppo, adagio, andante, minuet, gavotte
  12. HWV 311 - Op. 7 No. 6 in B flat major: pomposo, adagio, tempo ordinario
  13. HWV 295a - F major (No. 13): largo, allegro, larghetto, allegro
    HWV 295b - second version: larghetto, allegro, larghetto, allegro
  14. HWV 296a - A major (No. 14) : largo e staccato, organo ad libitum: fuga – allegro, andante, grave, allegro
    HWV 296b - second version, Pasticcio Konzert: andante, adagio, grave, andante allegro, a tempo ordinario
  15. HWV 304 - D minor (No. 15) : andante, organo ad libitum: adagio – fuga, allegro
  16. HWV 305a - F major (No. 16) : concerto, allegro, andante, andante allegro
    HWV 305b - second version: overture, allegro, andante, andante allegro

Organ concertos arranged from Concerti Grossi, Op.6:

  1. HWV 297 - D minor, after HWV 328: overture, air, allegro, allegro, allegro moderato
  2. HWV 298 - G major, after HWV 319: a tempo giusto, allegro, adagio, allegro, allegro
  3. HWV 299 - D major, after HWV 323 : larghetto e staccato, allegro, presto, largo, allegro, minuet un poco larghetto
  4. HWV 300 - G minor, after HWV 324 : largo e affettuoso, a tempo giusto, musette larghetto, allegro, allegro

Gregor Joseph Werner (1693–1766)[edit]

The Austrian composer Gregor Joseph Werner wrote a concerto in B flat major for organ, 2 chalumeaux and string orchestra, dated 1753: AllegroLargoTempo di menuet (manuscript: Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, Budapest: Ms.mus III.305; RISM: 530003636), as well as other concertos for organ and string or chamber orchestra. Besides these he wrote a pastorella in D major for organ and string orchestra: AndanteLarghettoAllegro.

Johann Adolf Hasse (1699–1783)[edit]

The German composer Johann Adolf Hasse wrote six concertos for organ (or harpsichord) and orchestra, published in London ca 1743.

Marianus Königsperger (1708–1769)[edit]

The German composer Marianus Königsperger wrote six concertos and two pastorellas for organ and string orchestra, with two trumpets or horns ad libitum, op. 18 (Certamen musicum complectens VI. concerta communia et II. pastoritia, Augustae-Vindelicorum: sumptibus Joannis Jacobi Lotteri Haeredum, 1754).

Georg von Reutter (1708–1772)[edit]

The Austrian composer Georg von Reutter wrote a concerto in F major for organ (or harpsichord) and string orchestra.

Michel Corrette (1709–1793)[edit]

The French organist-composer Michel Corrette wrote six concertos.

  • Concerto No. 1 in G major: allegro, aria I, aria II, allegro
  • Concerto No. 2 in A major: allegro, adagio, allegro
  • Concerto No. 3 in D major: adagio, aria, andante, adagio, allegro
  • Concerto No. 4 in C major: allegro, aria, allegro
  • Concerto No. 5 in F major: allegro, aria, allegro
  • Concerto No. 6 in D minor: allegro, andante, presto

Thomas Arne (1710–1778)[edit]

The English composer Thomas Arne composed six concertos.

  • Concerto No. 1 in C major: largo ma con spirito, andante, allegro, minuetto
  • Concerto No. 2 in G major: allegro, lento, moderato, allegro, con spirito
  • Concerto No. 3 in A major: con spirito, con spirito, minuetto, moderato
  • Concerto No. 4 in B flat major: con spirito, minuetto, giga moderato
  • Concerto No. 5 in G minor: largo, allegro con spirito, adagio, vivace
  • Concerto No. 6 in B flat major: allegro, moderato, ad libitum, allegro, minuetto

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788)[edit]

The German composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote several concertos for keyboard instrument (organ as one possible option), including the following:

  • Concerto in G major for organ (or harpsichord), strings and basso continuo, dated 1755 (Helm 444; Wq. 34): Allegro di moltoLargoPresto.
  • Concerto in E flat major for organ (or harpsichord), strings and basso continuo, with optional French horns, dated 1759 (Helm 446; Wq. 35): Allegro ma non troppoAdagio sostenutoAllegro assai.
  • Concerto no. 4 in B flat major for organ and orchestra: Con spiritoMinuettoGiga.
  • Concerto no. 5 in G minor for organ and orchestra: LargoAllegro con spiritoAdagioVivace.
  • Concerto no. 6 in B flat major for organ and orchestra: Allegro moderatoMinuettoVariations.

Georg Christoph Wagenseil (1715–1777)[edit]

The Austrian composer Georg Christoph Wagenseil wrote several concertos for organ (or harpsichord) and string orchestra, of which six were published in London in 1761 and another set of six also in London by Welcker ca 1765.

Johann Georg Zechner (1716–1778)[edit]

The Austrian composer Johann Georg Zechner wrote at least four concertos for keyboard instrument and (string) orchestra; either one of them or another work in F major is recorded by Franz Haselböck and Capella Academica Wien, conducted by Eduard Melkus, as an organ concerto: AllegroAdagioPresto (Hänssler Classic CD 94.052).

Joseph Anton Xaver Auffmann (ca 1720–1773 or later)[edit]

The German composer Joseph Anton Xaver Auffmann wrote at least three concertos for organ and chamber orchestra, op. 1 (Triplex concentus organicus, seu III. concerti organici à octo instrumentis, Augustæ-Vindelicorum: sumptibus Joannis Jacobi Lotteri Hæredum, 1754).

Antonio Soler (1729–1783)[edit]

The Spanish composer Antonio Soler wrote six concertos for two organs (without other instruments):

  • Concerto No. 1 in C major: andante, minué
  • Concerto No. 2 in A minor: andante-allegro, tempo di minué
  • Concerto No. 3 in G: andantino, minué
  • Concerto No. 4 in F: afectuoso, andante non largo, minué
  • Concerto No. 5 in A: cantabile, minué
  • Concerto No. 6 in D: allegro-andante-allegro-andante, minué

František Xaver Brixi (1732–1771)[edit]

The Czech composer František Xaver Brixi wrote at least six concertos for organ (or harpsichord) and chamber orchestra, e.g.:

  • Concerto in D major for organ and chamber orchestra (two horns, two violins and bass): Allegro moderatoAdagioAllegro (manuscript: Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, Bonn: Ec 252.5; RISM 450.064.567).
  • Concerto in D major for organ and chamber orchestra (two trumpets, two oboes, strings, bass, timpani): Allegro moltoAndante moltoAllegro molto (manuscript: Konvent minoritů v Praze, Prague: 16; RISM 551.000.016).

Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)[edit]

The Austrian composer Joseph Haydn wrote at least three concertos for organ:

  • Concerto Hob. XVIII:1 in C major for organ (or harpsichord) and orchestra, dated tentatively 1756.
  • Concerto Hob. XVIII:2 in D major for organ (or harpsichord) and orchestra, composed no later than 1767.
  • Concerto Hob. XVIII:6 in F major for violin and organ (or harpsichord) with string orchestra, composed no later than 1766.

Besides these, several of his keyboard concertos are performed with organ. There are also works attributed him, dubiously or spuriously:

  • Concerto Hob. deest in C major for organ and chamber orchestra (2 trumpets, 2 violins, basso continuo), composed no later than 1790–1810: AndantePresto (manuscript: Slovenské národné múzeum - Hudobné múzeum, Bratislava: MUS XII 42; RISM 570.000.177).

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736–1809)[edit]

The Austrian composer Johann Georg Albrechtsberger wrote a concerto in B flat major for organ and string orchestra, dated 1762, and published as volume 1 in Musica rinata series (Budapest: Zenemükiadó, 1964).

Michael Haydn (1737–1806)[edit]

The Austrian composer Michael Haydn wrote concerto MH 41 in C major for viola and organ (or harpsichord) with orchestra, dated 19 December 1761 (the year is uncertain).

Sir William Herschel (1738–1822)[edit]

The German-born English astronomer and composer Sir William Herschel wrote at least two concertos for organ and orchestra:

  • Concerto no. 1 in G major for organ and orchestra, composed 1767: [no title]Andante assaiAllegro (manuscript: The British Library, London: MS Mus. 89; RISM 806.451.028).
  • Concerto [no. 2?] in D major for organ and string orchestra, composed 1767 (manuscript: The British Library, London).

Johann Baptist Waṅhal (1739–1813)[edit]

The Czech-born Austrian composer Johann Baptist Waṅhal wrote at least nine organ concertos, which are only known from the inventory of the composer's estate. Concerto Bryan F1 in F major for harpsichord or piano and orchestra, composed no later than 1786, is edited and published in 1973 as an organ concerto in Diletto musicale series.

Marian Paradeiser (1747–1775)[edit]

The Austrian composer Marian Paradeiser wrote a concertino for organ (or harpsichord), violin, violoncello and orchestra; a manuscript of this work is kept in the library of the Melk Abbey in Melk, Austria.

Karel Blažej Kopřiva (1756–1785)[edit]

The Czech composer Karel Blažej Kopřiva wrote at least eight concertos for organ and orchestra, but only the one in E flat major for organ and chamber orchestra, with movements Allegro moderatoAdagioAllegro di giusto, is known to have survived.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)[edit]

The Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote several Epistle sonatas, of which six are for solo organ and strings or solo organ and orchestra:

  • K. 244 in F major for organ, two violins and bass (basso continuo), dated April 1776
  • K. 245 in D major for organ, two violins and bass (basso continuo), dated April 1776
  • K. 263 in C major for organ, two trumpets, two violins and bass (basso continuo), dated late 1776
  • K. 328 (317c) in C major for organ, two violins and bass (basso continuo), dated early 1779
  • K. 329 (317a) in C major for organ and orchestra, dated early 1779
  • K. 336 (336d) in C major for organ, two violins and bass (basso continuo), dated March 1780

Balthasar Anton Pfeyll (18th century)[edit]

A Central-European composer Balthasar Anton Pfeyll (Balthasarus Antonius Pfeyll) composed at least one concerto in D major for organ and chamber orchestra (two horns, strings, bass): Allegro [and other movements?] (manuscript: Kloster Einsiedeln, Musikbibliothek, Einsiedeln: 18,19 (Ms.1837); RISM 400012780).

Matteo Andruzzi (fl. 1785)[edit]

The Italian composer Matteo Andruzzi wrote at least one concerto in C major for organ and orchestra (manuscript: Škofijski arhiv, Koper: GA XXI/17; RISM 540.200.227).

Skitner[edit]

An unrecognised Central-European composer called Skitner wrote at last one concerto in D major for organ and chamber orchestra, dated before 1802: Allegro (assai)Allegro assai (manuscript: Landesbibliothek, Coburg: Ms Mus 374/1.52; RISM 450.107.181; another manuscript: Národní knihovna České republiky, Prague: no sigla; RISM 552.000.678).

Matthew Camidge (1764–1844)[edit]

The English composer Matthew Camidge wrote six concertos (suites) op. 13 for solo organ, published in London tentatively in 1815, with a note that "The author in this work has endeavoured to imitate the particular style of music which has been so long admired namely that of Handel & Corelli".

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839–1901)[edit]

The Liechtenstein-born German composer Josef Gabriel Rheinberger wrote two concertos for organ and orchestra:

Alexandre Guilmant (1837–1911)[edit]

Félix-Alexandre Guilmant Alexandre Guilmant, [5] wrote two of his organ sonatas in two versions [6], one as a symphony for organ and orchestra:

  • Sonata No. 1 in D minor / Symphonie No. 1 in D minor for Organ and Orchestra: Introduction et Allegro / Pastorale (Andante quasi allegretto) / Final (Allegro assai)
  • Sonata No. 8 in A major / Symphonie No. 2 in A major for Organ and Orchestra: Introduction et Allegro risoluto / Adagio con affetto / Scherzo: Allegro vivace / Andante sostenuto / Intermède et Allegro con brio

Marco Enrico Bossi (1861–1925)[edit]

  • Concerto in A minor op. 100 for Organ, String Orchestra, 4 Horns and Timpani (Bossi wrote this Concerto in two versions, the first in B flat minor with a different orchestration but with the same opus number)
  • Konzertstück in C minor op. 130 for Organ and Orchestra
  • Fantasia Sinfonica Op.147 for organ & orchestra

20th and 21st centuries[edit]

  • Joseph Jongen (1873–1953)
    • Symphonie concertante for organ and orchestra, op. 81 (1926)
  • Marcel Dupré (1886–1971)
    • Concerto in E minor, op. 31 (1931)
  • Hans Gál (1890–1987)
    • Concertino for organ and string orchestra, op. 55 (1954)
  • Paul Hindemith (1895–1963):
    • Kammermusik no. 7, concerto for organ and wind band, op. 46 no. 2 (1927)
    • Concerto for organ and orchestra (1963)
  • Howard Hanson (1896–1981)
    • Organ Concerto (1923)
  • Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)
  • Jón Leifs (1899–1968)
  • Flor Peeters (1903–1986)
    • Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, op. 52
  • Normand Lockwood (1906–2002)
    • Concerto for Organ and Brasses
  • Jean Langlais (1907–1991)
    • Concerto no. 1 for organ or harpsichord and orchestra (1949)
    • Concerto no. 2 for organ and string orchestra (1961)
    • Concerto no. 3 Réaction for organ, string orchestra and timpani (1971)
  • Samuel Barber (1910–1981):
    • Toccata festiva for organ and orchestra op. 36
  • Anton Schoendlinger (1919–1983)
    • Concerto no. 5 for organ, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and string orchestra (1978) (manuscript: Interkulturelles Forschungsprojekt Deutsche Musikkultur im östlichen Europa, Bonn; RISM 458.000.010)
  • Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921–2006)
    • Concerto for organ, trumpets (3), timpani and strings
  • Arthur Butterworth (1923–2014)
    • Concerto for organ, string orchestra and percussion, op. 33 (1973)
  • Boris Tchaikovsky (1925–1996)
    • Six etudes for organ and string orchestra (1976)
  • Charles Chaynes (1925–2016)
    • Concerto for organ, strings, timpani and percussion after the Spiritual Canticle of St. John of the Cross (1973)
  • Jean Guillou (b. 1930):
    • Invention for organ and orchestra (concerto no. 1), op. 7
    • Concerto héroïque for organ and orchestra (concerto no. 2), op. 10
    • Concerto no. 3 for organ and string orchestra, op. 14
    • Concerto no. 4 for organ and orchestra, op. 31
    • Concerto no. 5 Roi Arthur for organ and string quintet op. 35
    • Concerto 2000 for organ and orchestra op. 62
    • Concerto no. 6 for organ and orchestra (triple woodwind, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, percussion, strings), op. 68
    • Concerto no. 7 for organ and orchestra, op. 70
  • Terry Riley (b. 1935)
  • Andrew Carter (b. 1939)
    • Concerto in C major for organ and orchestra (2005)
  • Stephen Paulus (1949–2014)
    • Concerto for organ, chorus and orchestra
    • Concerto for organ, strings and percussion (1992)
    • Grand concerto for organ and orchestra (2004)
    • Double concerto for piano and organ with atrings and percussion (c. 2010)
  • Kalevi Aho (b. 1949)
    • Symphony for organ and symphony orchestra (1993)
  • Daniel E Gawthrop (b. 1949)
    • Concerto for organ and orchestra (premiered 2004)
  • Michael Gandolfi (b. 1956):
    • Ascending Light for organ and orchestra (2015)
  • Thierry Escaich (b. 1965)
    • Concerto no. 1 for organ and orchestra (1995)
    • Concerto no. 2 for organ, string orchestra and percussions (2006)
  • Eric Sessler (b. 1969)
    • Organ Concerto (2006)
  • Leonid Karev (b. 1969)
    • Mots Interrompus for organ and orchestra (2007)
  • Eugenio Maria Fagiani (b. 1972)
    • Concerto for organ and string orchestra, op. 98 (2009)
  • Frederik Magle (b. 1977)
    • Concerto for organ and orchestra "The Infinite Second" (1994)
  • Valentin Villard (b. 1985)
    • Concerto for organ and string orchestra, op. 46 (2009)

References[edit]

  • Concerto pour orgue See the French Wikipedia page for a more complete list.
  • Bouquet-Boyer, Marie-Thérèse, Vivaldi et le concerto, Paris, Éditions des Presses Universitaires de France, coll. «Que sais-je ?», 1985.
  • Orgues Nouvelles no 5, été 2009, Lyon, juin 2009. Dossier concertos orgue et orchestre.
  • Richard H. Satorius, Bibliography of Concertos for Organ and Orchestra, Evanston (IL), The Instrumentalist Co., 1961.
  • Pipedreams Selected Repertoire for Organ and Orchestra par Michale Barone (2008).