About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
The “Nova Organi Harmonia” demanded from each of us an unusual commitment; we have dedicated to it the best of our energies. Would it be, therefore, presumptuous on our part to be satisfied with the result and to expect its welcome reception in the musical world?
— Msgr. Jules Van Nuffel (circa 1940)

ABOUT US  |  HEADER  |  ARCHIVE
Organ Processionals & Postludes: Suggestions Needed
published 6 January 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

HEN I WAS A YOUNG BOY, I fell in love with the organ works of Bach: the majestic A minor (BWV 543), the glorious St. Anne (BWV 552), the sumptuous Art of the Fugue, the mighty Passacaglia in C minor (BWV 582), the resplendent “Fiddle” Fugue (BWV 539), and so forth. After years of directing music at Mass, I have come to understand that not every great organ piece is appropriate for a Processional or Postlude. Choosing a suitable piece depends on many factors: the skill of the organist, the particular strengths & weaknesses of the organ, the length of the procession, and so forth. People who lack a sensibility for the Roman Rite often choose pieces which—although they are certainly magnificent—are not suitable. To do this is to dishonor the work in question.

Can you please send me some of your favorite Processionals & Postludes? I need specific titles. REMEMBER: they have to be short. That’s why so many of the Bach Preludes & Fugues—as great as they are—do not work, because they’re much too long. Use the CONTACT US tab at the top.

Apologies in advance: You’ll immediately receive an auto-response—sent by a robot—reminding you that we cannot always reply to each and every email we receive.

Below I give examples which, in my humble opinion, work very well. As a processional, a brief excerpt from Bach’s G Major Fantasie (BWV 572). As a Postlude, the famous C Major (BWV 553). I feel that Bach’s Dorian Prelude (audio sample) might work as Processional or Postlude: do you agree?