O quam pulchra es
This piece is inspired from the Cantique des cantiques and is essentially monodic, bearing traces of 17th century single voice motets (especially Monteverdi and Grandi) as well as solo cornet of French, Dutch and Spanish composers of the Baroque era. Ideally, this is composed for a classical French organ with at least two keyboards and going up to do-5, and tuned in an equal temperament - under condition that it has at least one Cornet.
The A section is for the flutes: bourdon 8' on the first keyboard I, flute 4' on the second keyboard. The presence of both keyboards has to be balanced, but their order is free: keyboard I can be the Grand Orgue, or the Positif. In that case, if no combination satisfies the organist, he then can decide to start the piece at the B section.
The fast and fugitive B section, requires a hollow mixture like: flute 4' and larigot 1' 1/3 (Positif), or flute 4' and Seventeenth 1' 3/5 (Positif or Grand Orgue).
The C section is composed for a top cornet, played on the Grand-Orgue or Solo. The cornet has to be played in a free manner, with flexibility and lyricism. Another keyboard (pp) must echo the first one. Long sustained notes have to be maintained with weights, held by an assistant or played on the pedalboard with couplers and with the left hand on flute 4' played at the inferior octave. It is very important that sustained notes should sound in the background and melt into the echo of the cornet.
Starting at bar 21, fragments noted as "mp" are for a softer mixture than the Grand Cornet, for instance bourdon 8', flute 4', and nasard 2' 2/3.
The alterations only appy to the bar and only at the specified pitch. The accaciature (notes or groups of crossed notes) should be played as fast as possible, just before the main note. The metronome indications are simply informative and should be adapted depending on the acoustics of the place and characteristics of the instrument.
1 CD Aeon, AE1440
Toccata - Kolorierte Floten - Nigra sum - O quam pulchra es - Capriccio sopra re-fa-mi-sol - Spiegel (Praeambulum, Vita dulceco, Ad te suspiramus, Et Jesum, O pia, Pro fine) - Salve Regina (Salve Regina, Ad te clamamus, Eia ergo, advocata nostra, O clemens, O dulcis Maria)
Bernard Foccroulle (organ)
Alice Foccroulle (soprano)
Lambert Colson (cornetto)