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Twenty-four Brief Orisons

- Calvert Shenk


Use: General
Required Resources: organ

The composer, the late Calvert Shenk, wrote:

The liturgical organist frequently has occasion to play a short prelude, interlude, or postlude. These twenty-four small pieces, one in each key, represent an attempt to provide suitable material for that purpose. I have not indicated tempos or dynamics. A general rubric may suffice: "softly and slowly, with quite restrained registrations." The original impetus for this music came from my association with the liturgical and musical life of my parish church, Assumption Grotto in Detroit, to whose devoted organist the pieces are dedicated.

The word orison means "prayer." These brief organ prayers can be used effectively during liturgies where a short piece is called for: after an entrance hymn during the incensing, during special rites at a wedding, or after a communion hymn. They might even serve as "intonations" for an a cappella choral motet.

In any of these circumstances, the pattern followed for keys (much like the Well-tempered Clavier of J.S. Bach) serves one well, as one can choose the same key for the music which precedes or follows. The format for the major keys (the odd-numbered orisons) is the typical progression of the Circle of Fifths: C, G, D, A, E, B, etc. Each major key is followed by its relative minor, which make up the even-numbered orisons. Respectively, they are: a, e, b, f#, c#, g#, etc.

Effort has been made to arrange each orison on a single page. If this was not possible, it was arranged on facing pages to avoid any page turns.


Order #: 6031
Price: $5.95


- Organ/Instrumental
- Ordinary Time
- Organ

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