Sunday 5 June 10am – CHOIR

10th Sunday in Ordinary time (C) Year of Luke

1 Kg 17.17-24, Gal 1.11-19, Lk 7.11-17 – Young man, I say to you, rise!The_Widows_Son_Nain_StainedGlass2

  • Mass setting: Missa Secunda (Hassler)
  • Motet: I am the Resurrection (O. Gibbons)
  • Communio: (Gregorian, Psalm 17) Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus: Deus meus adiutor meus. The Lord is my support, my refuge and deliverer; God is my only help
  • Hymns: TIS 637 Lord of the Living ISTE CONFESSOR, TIS 607 Make me a channel of your peace CHANNEL OF PEACE
  • Organ Prelude: Prãludium – Johann Rinck (1770-1846)
  • Organ Offertorium: Ah! Dieu et Seigneur – Marcel Dupre (1886-1971)
  • Organ Voluntary: Toccata & Fugue in ‘d’ minor BWV 565 – J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Organist: Bransby Byrne

Notes on the Organ Voluntary (Postlude)

Toccata & Fugue in ‘d’ minor BWV 565 – J.S. Bach (1685-1750)


Statue of Bach outside the Thomaskirche in Leipzig

The Toccata & Fugue in ‘d’ minor is perhaps the most famous organ piece in the world. No Bach composition that has been used so often and for such diverse purposes in our day. From Disney’s Fantasia to The Phantom of the Opera, the opening of this composition has provided many memorable moments.

The secret is in the striking first note, accented with a mordent, followed by that brief, tense moment of silence and the overpowering descending series of notes (or variations on it, like in Pirates of the Caribbean). Bach’s original score has not survived the centuiries, leading to speculation about the creation date of this wild and original composition that is actually not very ‘Bach-like’. Some scholars believe it’s too crude a piece to have been written by Bach at all.

Maybe Bach felt embarrassed about his crude, youthful ‘clavier hussar’ style (as his biographer Forkel called it), and put the work aside?  The earliest score contains many un-Bach-like dynamics and markings, in a copy made by Johann Ringk (1717-78), who was a student of one of Bach’s students. Ringk has preserved this ‘youthful lapse’ for posterity. A lot of his other early organ work has been lost completely.