"O Sacred Head, Now Wounded" by Vidas Pinkevičius | Secrets of Organ Playing Contest (Week 77)

in #secretsoforganplaying7 months ago (edited)

O Sacred 3 cropped.jpg

O Sacred score page 1 cropped.jpg

Of Vidas Pinkevičius's (@organduo) compositions, this prelude on the classic Protestant Good Friday hymn, "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded," is my favorite.

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The piece is short, but beautifully crafted. While the right hand and pedal play the hymn-tune in a canon at the fourth (appropriately enough, given that the two opening pitches of the hymn are a fourth part), the left hand weaves a beautiful polyphonic tapestry; its melody/melodic contour drawn from the first four pitches (or their intervallic equivalents (i.e. P4-T-T-S)) of the hymn.

My recording by no means features a perfect performance, but it is a recording with which I am pleased. There were two measures in the score in particular where, for me, playing the accompaniment legato was anatomically impossible (the first beat of m.12, for instance, where I had to play the alto D# and C# with my thumb). This is not a fault of the composition - it was composed by someone with longer fingers!

My registration of this piece is a bit different than that for which the score calls.

The registration was:

Sw: Gedackt 8', Viola 8', Viola Celeste 8', Sw. to Gt. 8', Sw. to Ped. 8'
Gt: Vox Humana 8'
Ch: Flute Harmonique 8', Erzähler Céleste 8', Rohrschalmei 8'*, Ch. to Gt. 8', Ch. to Ped. 8',
Ped: Bourdon 16'

*The Rohrschalmei 8'is a MIDI addition to the Choir manual. That's why it's not heard in the Great or Pedal. I wanted the Choir stops to be coupled to the Great, creating a richer sound, etc., but also to have a nice sharp reed sound that would not couple with the Great and Pedal.


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Very well played, @michaelcalabris! Thanks for your entry!

Thank you, Vidas. I'm glad you enjoyed my performance of this piece. It is a great composition, and I tried to do my best in performing it.

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