Grace and Jubilation: Six Organ Solos. (Organ).
This new collection of organ pieces contains six works appropriate for the church service and includes settings of the well-known and much-used tunes "Picardy," "Amazing Grace," "Sine Nomine" and "Ode to Joy," as well as a work inspired by "An Iona Boat Song." The volume ends with a free composition, "The Jubilant Trumpet," which provides a rollicking postlude to the entire collection. The works all are moderately easy and would be accessible to an organist with only modest manual and pedal technique. Although they would benefit from the tonal variety and power of a large pipe organ, the composer is quick to point out their effectiveness on a smaller instrument.
Those who are familiar with Jack Noble White's choral works will readily recognize some familiar musical "trademarks," such as an interest in jaunty rhythms and a lyrical quality that can, at times, lean decidedly toward the sentimental. However, he often gives fresh readings to some frequently set tunes. Unlike numerous other hymn preludes on the communion hymn "Picardy" ("Let all mortal flesh keep silence"), which play upon the modal and chant-like character of the tune, White casts it as a gently rocking neo-baroque chorale prelude with a lovely counter-melody preparing the way for the hymn. Adding to this collection's value is the fact that the preludes on "Picardy," "Amazing Grace," "Ode to Joy" and "Sine Nomine" were designed to include the use of the choir and/or congregation, so they can be used not only as preludes to the hymns, but as accompaniment to the singing of the hymn, either as a "simplified" anthem for organ and choir or as a congregational hymn with an organ-free accompaniment.
In his preface the composer states that these pieces grew out of years of improvising, and the student of liturgical improvisation could gain many ideas from these brief pieces. The universal appeal of the majority of tunes and the simplicity of settings should help this collection find an audience among the ever-expanding number of organists looking for easy voluntaries on well-known hymn tunes. Reviewed by Janette Fishell, Greenville, North Carolina.
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|Publication:||American Music Teacher|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2002|
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