Peter Ouwerkerk New teaching material for organists
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 1, 37-42 [summary]

In 2000, Jérome Faucheur published his organ method J’apprends l’Orgue. His point of departure is a strict legato. Lessons in playing the pedal are offered quite soon. Rather quickly they become so difficult that balance between the tasks of the hands and the feet is completely lacking. Faucheur’s method stands in the tradition of Lemmens and Dupré.

John Brock’s Introduction to Organ Playing in 17th and 18th Century Style offers a well-considered introduction to non-legato playing, easy enough for beginners but also useful for more experienced organists who want to get acquainted with 17th- and 18th-century styles as well. Brock pays special attention to controlling the release of the keys. A Dutch edition would be desirable.

Sandra Soderlund edited the eight short Preludes and Fugues, the two-part Inventions and the four Duets of Johann Sebastian Bach in a series entitled ‘An Annotated Performer’s Edition’, which offers a great deal of useful information on playing technique. Soderlund refers to the context of the music by paying attention to historical dance patterns and rhythms, and to the way traverso-players articulate. Unfortunately she does not treat the relation between historical fingering and realising a differentiated articulation on the organ. Furthermore, it is a pity that the series gives the impression that it is meant as a ‘do-it-yourself course’.

Studying these methods makes one wish for a proper Dutch method, which should devote attention to tasteful music making, attack and release of tones, learning to play the pedal in a natural way in combination with attaining a healthy and effective posture, and – last but least – learning to improvise. The new method of Sietze de Vries, ‘Harmoniseren – Een methode ter ondersteuning en bevordering van het improviseren in het orgelonderwijs’, unfortunately does not add much to what is already offered by the methods of Bert Matter/Peter Molenaar and Stephen Taylor; continuation of De Vries’s book is necessary to make improvisation an effective part of his method.