Required Resources: organ
There are two important uses for manuals-only organ music:
- by new organists not yet comfortable with pedals
- by accomplished organists looking for variety in repertoire
To this end, CanticaNOVA Publications offers a series of pieces for manuals by organist/composer Donna Robertson.
Two Christmastide Preludes for Manuals sets Gloria ("Angels We Have Heard on High") and Wie schön leuchtet ("How Brightly Shines the Morning Star").
The first is a mini-suite, a group of short, programatic variations with titles:
- As from a distance
- The shepherds rejoice
- Adoration at the manger
- The angels vanish
Various styles and registrations are used, with dynamics ranging from pianissimo to fortissimo.
The second tune is set in the style of Marcel Dupré, or perhaps Max Reger (without all the chromaticism).
The tune travels from above the staff, to treble range, to bass clef, before closing with a rich, hymn-like phrase.
This one-page gem shows excellent voice leading and fluidity of motion, and is very effective even when played (as indicated) on a soft 8' stop throughout.
Both pieces are filled with creative writing for manuals — you'll never miss the pedals!