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Sowerby's Carillon

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    Sowerby's Carillon

    Sowerby's Carillon is one of my favorite organ pieces that uses chimes. The chimes are played in the pedal in two places in this piece The first time the chimes melody is played alone. However, the second time, Sowerby adds a pedal point on low A flat. When played on a pipe organ, the chime would not be sounded on this note, but on some electronic organs, the chime does sound. It is not the end of the world, but it always bothers me to hear the chimes on that note. So I was delighted to discover that my organ has a Pedal Soloist draw knob that does not couple to the lowest octave of the pedal. That is perfect for this piece.

    One other challenge I have sometimes had with this piece, on organs where the chimes begin at tenor A instead of G, the A flat is missing. I once thought about sight transposing it to the key of A, but gave up that notion as not worth the bother.

    If your organ has chimes, people probably want to hear them. This would be a good piece to use if you don't already have it in your repertoire.
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800

    #2
    Yes...this is indeed a great piece! I heard it first on a Mormon Tabernacle Choir/Organ broadcast back in the '60's. Alexander Schreiner was at the organ and he really brought the piece to life on that magnificent Aeolian-Skinner.

    I read somewhere that Sowerby himself grew somewhat tired of the Carillon, perhaps because more organists played IT than most of his other works.

    You're right: it's a crowd-pleaser.

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      #3
      Originally posted by HerbT View Post
      I read somewhere that Sowerby himself grew somewhat tired of the Carillon, perhaps because more organists played IT than most of his other works.
      I tried *decades* ago to learn his "Pageant", failed miserably, and decided to stick with "Carillon" and "Comes Autumn Time"
      R, Bill

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        #4
        Carillon is indeed a beautiful piece, and being quite early in the modern repertoire not overly audacious. So evocative, and not for beginners! Honestly I don't think anybody's missing much by not delving further into his stuff.

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        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Victor,

          Perhaps the exception to your last statement might be the two sets of Sowerby's Psalm Preludes. If one is familiar with the texts and the stories behind the pieces, they then take on more interest. I've only ever played one in performance, but look forward to trying the 23rd Psalm sometime.

          Michael

        #5
        I got one of those and gave it away but here's an extra-special performance of the Carillon

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33ZafkOEPz4

        Comment


        • beel m
          beel m commented
          Editing a comment
          I play it somewhat faster, but that is a superb performance indeed. Thanks for the link!
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