Do It Rite: The Organist as Artist and Dreamer

In this installment of Do It Rite, Fr. Anthony Ruff OSB shows how the organist can be an artist and dreamer in bringing out the unique character of every hymn.

Do It Rite series:
Anthony Ruff OSB, “The Organist as Conductor
Anthony Ruff OSB, “Play the Downbeat
Anthony Ruf OSB, “Cantors, Get Off the Mic!
Johan van Parys, “When Will the Catholic Church Stop Smoking?
Johan van Parys, “Why The Catholic Church Does Processions
Johan van Parys, “The Liturgy and Silence

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  1. Thanks to Paul Inwood for going first. My mother didn’t raise me to be the first commenter on a post.
    Unfortunately, the lack of comments for so many days suggests that what Father Anthony is saying is either too obvious to need affirming or too absurd for anyone to bother rebutting. It’s neither of those things, of course. What he calls “artistry” and “dreaming” I have usually called organ razzle-dazzle, and I totally agree that it has a place (except among those who can’t imagine how hymn singing could ever be fun). I guess the only watchword is that it be tuned in with congregations, which differ widely, so that it will inspire them but not bewilder or shock them. (I believe J. S. Bach was accused of doing the latter.) The best result, in my opinion, is that they sing better but aren’t fully conscious of how they’ve been moved to do so.
    Have any organists out here been criticized for excessive “artistry” or “dreaming”–or, indeed, for not enough of it?

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