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harmonium scores

Anne Marchou, organist in St.-Jeannet, had accustomed the congregation to a standard of playing I could never hope to emulate. As her deputy, I felt I had to find a different style. "Real" harmonium-music fitted the bill.

15 years on, and now deputy organist at the basilica in Vilvoorde, I have managed to accumulate enough scores for me to need a catalogue.

There's a link at the bottom of the page to my new online catalogue, but for the time being I haven't brought myself to discard any of these descriptions/comments.


Not that I would have the stamina to teach myself how to play properly, even if I did have an instrument; lots of fascinating information in the text, though, and in many of them forgotten gems among the exercises.

Méthode d'Harmonium - Harmonium Tutor (Bado)
Canon Vincent Bado's work is dedicated to the Archbishop of Algiers, who wrote a most courteous letter of thanks in November 1924. F. de la Tombelle, who features as a composer in several of the books listed here, wrote with similarly urbane approval from Château de Fayrac in the Dordogne. Bado doesn't actually say he belonged to the chapter of Algiers, but his is the only tutor I've yet seen that gives hints on maintenance and even tells you how to pack a reed when you have to send it away by post.
In the Selection of 80 pieces in different styles that completes the tutor, Bado - like Raffy - includes pieces which are carefully if frustratingly acknowledged as extracts from other publications.
Méthode pour Harmonium (Dubois)
No date, and a fairly smudged print on cheap paper - this tutor by V. Dubois was printed in Brussels for Katto, who gives addresses in Brussels and Paris. The instrument he had in mind runs to Percussion on both sides of the break, plus Sourdine/Céleste.
Harmoniumschule, op. 99 - Band I
Includes short pieces by other composers, including his more playful pseudonym Theo von Oberndorff, and some astounding duets: what a shock the pupil must have had the first time he or she heard the teacher's part joining in.
Ecole d'Orgue - complete tutor for the harmonium (Raffy)
Louis Raffy's tutor was published by the Procure de Musique Religieuse on the outskirts of Paris and obviously had a long working life - my copy of volume III is dated 1908, my copies of volumes I and II are dated 1952.
When I only had the first volume I was in two minds about it, finding the studies and exercises not particularly exciting. The second and third volumes make up for this, though, with works by Raffy and other composers and some fairly acid comments on the less-than-liturgically-correct habits of some organists. Raffy also edited five volumes of pieces - selected, the publisher informs us, after considering more than four thousand works by famous organists and celebrated composers - graded by difficulty, plus two volumes of pieces that didn't fit into the first five but seemed too good to lose.
Many of the pieces used in the tutor are reprinted by special permission from other collections, giving a tantalising glimpse of yet more lost books.
Harmoniumschule (Reinhard)
A commendably thorough tutor, which even explains the mechanism: the whole of the instructive text is to be found on the Harmonium Home Page. Had I but world enough and time, plus of course a Debain or Mustel, I could try and work through Reinhard and van Overeem to eradicate years of bad habits and learn a proper technique.
Méthode d'Harmonium (van Overeem)
Even more thorough than Reinhards's Harmoniumschule, Mario van Overeem's tutor has some really idiomatic pieces among its studies, and there are also several short pieces by van Overeem in the Moortgat collections. The cordial note of acknowledgment from Canon J. van Nuffel is dated January 1929. Schott Frères in Brussels published both this tutor and the Excelsior album that goes with it.
Studien – 50 Übungs- und Vortragsstücke (Reinhard)
Stinkers, every last one of them
Übungs- und Vortragsstücke (Reinhard, op.21)
Volume III of a three-volume set; transcriptions from the masters interspersed with newer, original compositions


Apart from the Jef van Hoof, all this is really for organ without feet; but I think they'd go pretty well


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