Let it be known that I am a Methodist church organist, and therefore will have something to muse about if I play each week.
Yesterday I touched no Ivories... only Ebonies and some other... brown wood. Maybe the trim on the "black" keys is ivory. (Some Sundays I play piano, too.)
Hymns (Oldies but goodies)
#1 Great is Thy Faithfulness. Three verses and refrains with varying stops (sounds). Followed by a reading and one last Refrain repeated. (We don't always do the extra refrain. It has tripped me up in the past: Once I closed the hymnal at the end of the regular singing only to hastily search for it again half way through the reading! Read: Panic!!) My usual variation of the printed music is to use passing tones in the bass/pedals.
#2 And Can It Be that I Should Gain. Again, three verses. The last 8 measures are written with 4 part harmony that isn't what I consider in organ style. I feel like the men singing are exposed if I play as written with only treble melody with no accompaniment. Therefore, I add extra octaves in the lower range and chords to fill in the sound.
#3 I Need Thee Every Hour Three verses. Straight out of the hymnal. Minor variations of stops for the verses and refrain.NOTE: I do not choose hymns. Only incidental music and who plays what. I have a colleague who plays piano or organ opposite me.
Prelude: At the early service I played a Telemann Choral Prelude. One Manual only. It consisted of two voices which imitate the chorale tune and a third voice above the others using the chorale tune melody in longer notes.
Prelude: At the later service I accompanied my husband (piccolo trumpet) playing "Adagio" by Marcello. The piece is originally for oboe and orchestra. A very beautiful ornamented melody, full of twists and turns, played at mm=36. (That's very slow, folks.) He played beautifully; his sound is wonderful, and accompanying him is effortless. Maybe it's because we have played together for 43 years...
Postlude: Two variations of How Firm a Foundation, first in Eb minor, and second in D major arranged by Lau.A vocal solo was sung by a little slip of a girl in 5th grade, who sang up a storm (Amazing Grace/My chains are gone) to a recorded accompaniment. She had people wiping tears from their eyes and her tuning is impressive with only a few months of vocal instruction.
For past blog posts on this subject, use the search feature to the right by typing in "pipe organs" or "performance".