What Are the 3 Golden Rules in Programing A Successful Organ Recital?

General article

Are you in preparatory stages for an organ recital? Do you have some ideas but are not sure what are the best ways to program it? If you want to achieve success with your playing, there are 3 things to keep in mind here. In this article, I will explain each of them one by one which will help you to make the best decision.
1) Instrument. This is perhaps the most important point to keep in mind and many people fail to give it some serious thinking. Because every organ is different and no instruments are alike, consider the technical capabilities of it. Ask some questions, like what is the ideal musical style, historical period, technical and registration limitations for your organ etc.
2) Audience. Once you have decided over the above point, think of your listeners in planning the recital. Give them something interesting, unexpected, and original in the theme of the event. It is really vital to the success of your recital that the program should be engaging and have a balance between a unity and contrast.
A unity could mean that there should be an overall general recital theme or idea, like liturgical occasion, one composer, one style, one historical period, one country etc. Although you can play a mixed program where all the pieces are chosen by accident, it is much easier to publicize the recital, if the above point is kept in mind. People will feel more interested in coming to your recital if you give them something unique, original, and special.
A contrast in your program might mean that you should give the listeners the ability to relax by programing pieces in loud-soft-loud-soft manner. Also, keep in mind the balance between the compositions in major and minor modes.
3) Performer. You must think also about yourself as the performer. Ask yourself, if the pieces you have chosen are not too difficult for you at the moment. Or perhaps you can play them one by one but when you put them in a row, they are too exhausting to play. A good idea is also to have some contrast between fast-slow-fast-slow compositions. Additionally, not the least important is that the pieces should be interesting to you personally.
Try to keep the above points in mind when you prepare for an organ recital. The more balance between the instrument, audience, and performer your program has, the more success you will achieve.
What are your thoughts on this important subject? Do you have some organ recital experiences that you want to share? Or perhaps you learned some lessons along the way? I am curious to know.