Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens

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Belgian organist and organ composer

  • 3 January 1823 born in Zoerle-Paarwijs, Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1839-1846 studied with Christian Girschner and François-Joseph Fétis at the Brussels Conservatory.
  • 1842 won the first prize for piano at the Brussels Conservatory.
  • 1846 won the first prizes for organ and for composition at the Brussels Conservatory. He commenced his career as an organist at Diest.
  • 1846 travelled to Breslau on a government grant to complete his studies with Adolf Hesse, who could trace his teachers back through Kittel to Bach. Lemmens was considered by some to have inherited the tradition of Bach and passed it on to his students. He certainly did introduce and promote the music of Bach in Belgium and France.
  • 1847 won second prize in the Prix de Rome composition competition for his cantata, Le Roi Lear (King Lear).
  • 1848 began publishing his organ compositions.
  • 1849 appointed organ professor at the Brussels Conservatory, at only 26 years old. There he taught Widor and Guilmant, who in turn influenced Loret and Dupre. Lemmens was one of the best organists of his time, and was highly regarded as a teacher.
  • 1852 gave organ recitals in Saint Vincent de Paul, La Madeleine and Saint Eustache churches in Paris, where he stunned audiences with his technique. This recital was witnessed by and influence the French organists Boëly, Benoist, Franck, Alkan, Lefébure-Wély and Fessy.
  • 1857 married the English soprano, Helen Sherrington. He began traveling frequently to London.
  • 1869 moved to London.
  • 1878 returned to Belgium and founded the Ecole de Musique Religieuse at Mechelen.
  • 1879 the Ecole de Musique Religieuse changed its name to the Lemmens Institute, which still exists today.
  • 30 January 1881 died in Zemst, near Mechelen, Belgium

For details, see the Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens article on Wikipedia.

Also refer to the article at Oxford Music Online: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.erl.lib.byu.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/16384?q=jacques-nicolas+lemmens&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit

List of Organ Works[edit]

Click to sort by opus number, title, or year of composition or publication
Opus Title Year
Op. ?? 10 Improvisations 1848
Op. ?? École d'Orgue, basée sur le plain-chant romain (Orgelschule) 1862
Op. ?? Four Organ Pieces in the Free Style 1866
Op. ?? Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, "Pontificale" 1876
Op. ?? Sonata No. 2 in E Minor, "O Filii" 1876
Op. ?? Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, "Pascale" 1876
Op. ?? Musique d'Orgue (Douze Pieces d'Orgue) 1883
Op. ?? 19 pieces pour orgue 1883-1887
Op. ?? Leichte Orgelstücke 1883-1887

Background and General Perspectives on Performing Lemmens Organ Works[edit]

According to Oxford Music Online, "Lemmens wrote for the taste of his time. His organ music was sometimes meditative (among his early organ pieces are several entitled Prière) and sometimes more demonstrative (his Fanfare), and his fugues derived from the revival of interest in the music of Bach (an example followed by his pupil Guilmant). His tendency to base many of his works on Catholic plainsong ...may have influenced Widor."

Registration and Organs[edit]

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See the footnote in the "Notes" section at the bottom of the page[1]

Fingering and Pedaling[edit]

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Articulation and Phrasing[edit]

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Tempo and Meter[edit]

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Scores and Editions[edit]

"Fanfare" from "Ecole d'Orgue" on imslp: http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/usimg/5/52/IMSLP241067-SIBLEY1802.22401.d73e-39087012432136Fanfare.pdf

Organ Sonata no. 1, "Pontificale," on imslp: http://imslp.org/wiki/3_Organ_Sonatas_(Lemmens,_Jacques-Nicolas)

"Finale" in D major from "Ecole d'Orgue" on imslp: http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/d/df/IMSLP130934-WIMA.df04-Lemmens_29_Final.pdf

"Musique d'Orgue (Douze Pieces d'Orgue)" (44 pieces) on imslp: http://imslp.org/wiki/Organ_Music_(Lemmens,_Jacques-Nicolas)


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Free Online[edit]

Scherzo Symphonique, "Fanfare," from "Ecole d'Orgue," played by Diane Bish on the organ at the Bern Cathedral, Bern, Switzerland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubHhEkmiZX8

March Pontificale, from Sontata no. 1 in D minor, "Pontificale," played by Diane Bish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rt46EcIvfs

Finale D-dur in Trier, from "Ecole d'Orgue," played by Josef Still: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yix_ijmItH4

Offertiore from "Musique d'Orgue (Douze Pieces d'Orgue)": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUl3_m0xk1Q&list=PLROTauPEt84tXg72hedxXr1l7o92zgoFI

Pay to Listen[edit]

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Other Resources[edit]

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  1. This footnote was entered in the "Registration and Organs" section

This space is for automatic insertion of footnotes. To enter a footnote from anywhere in the article, start by typing the tag <ref> and then enter the text, and type the tag </ref> to end the footnote. The footnote will then appear in this "Notes" section automatically.