Many of our Prelude users plan their musical offerings well in advance, but there are many still waiting for inspiration to strike. We polled some of our editors and other folks about their favorite pieces to play in the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. May you gain some inspiration from these suggestions!
From Norma Aamodt-Nelson, keyboard acquisitions editor for Augsburg Fortress and Minister of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood WA.
- In preparation for Advent, I usually pull out the Augsburg Organ Library: Advent volume as my first resource for gathering and sending music, and one special favorite I like is Alec Rowley's Benedictus. I like the way it builds to a forte, and then declines, it is the "perfect prelude."
- A really fun offertory/voluntary is found in Barbara Harbach's Gloria! Organ Music for Advent and Christmas volume, A Quodlibet of Carols.
- I like the majestic setting of Helmsley in Karl Osterland's I Wonder as I Wander, Seasonal Preludes.
- Walter L. Pelz, Variations on From Heaven Above, are also favorites.
- I am playing settings of Freu dich Sehr, using Richard Lind's from Fum! Fum! Fum! and the 2 settings by Hovland and Near in Augsburg Organ Library: Advent.
- I'm using Lynn L. Peterson's Postlude on Veni Emmanuel in her volume, Hark! The Glad Sound, and Marilyn Biery's Fantasy on Veni Emmanuel in Augsburg Organ Library: Advent.
- And my all-time favorite Christmas carol offertory is Richard Lind's setting of On December Five and Twenty in his volume, Fum! Fum! Fum!
From Andrew Heller, Director of Music at St. Paul’s Lutheran in Ardmore, Pennsylvania
- One of my favorite postludes to play on Christmas Eve is Timothy Albrecht’s Angels We Have Heard on High from his Grace Notes Volume II. Also from Tim Albrecht – Go Tell it on the Mountain from Augsburg Organ Library: Christmas.
- Variations on From Heaven Above by Walter Pelz is another favorite of the season.
- For Epiphany I love “Prelude sur l’Introit de l’Epiphanie" by Maurice Durufle in Augsburg Organ Library: Epiphany
John Schlobohm, Cantor at Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer, Minneapolis MN
- Blue Cloud Abbey Christmas… seriously, a must.
- Fum, Fum, Fum – Richard Lind (another must have)
- Christ is Born – J Wayne Kerr
- Cold December Flies Away, Carols for Organ – David Lasky
Karen Kester Areheart, Cantor at Nativity Lutheran church, Arden, NC
- Go Tell it On the Mountain and Infant Holy from Christmas Jazz Suite for Piano by John Carter
- I have used every piece in Anne Krentz Organ’s Advent Reflections for Piano and Solo Instrument, but the setting of King of Glory is really fun!
Some anonymous suggestions:
- I'm a fan of the John Carter Merrily on High book-
- I loooove playing the Cold December Flies Away by Keith Kolander on the last Sunday of December, from Augsburg Organ Library: Christmas
Carol Carver, Acquisitions Editor at Augsburg Fortress and Director of Music at Trinity Lutheran in Stillwater, MN
- Epiphany Carol by Bruce Neswick
- Out of the Orient Crystal Skies -Richard Zgodava
- O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright – J.S. Bach in Bach for All Seasons
**Note: Augsburg Organ Library collections are not yet available on Prelude due to permissions issues, but we are working on this and hope to offer them in the coming year. Meantime, the collections are available at the above links.
Blessing on your music ministry!
-Jane Knappe, Event Coordinator, Worship & Music, Augsburg Fortress Publishers