Partitas for organ Op22-24
Originally written for harmonium, these three Partitas fulfil
my project to supply suites in the three keys which César
Franck left unaddressed in his ‘L’Organiste’.
Their effect on organ versus harmonium has been compared to oil
painting versus watercolour. I am very happy to present here the
Franck’s ‘L’Organiste’ was planned to
contain suites in the twelve keys, starting in C, rising up through
D flat, D, E flat etc. He died leaving the last three suites unwritten.
Each suite consists of seven movements, six short, and a longer
final piece recalling themes from the previous movements, providing
a satisfying cyclical structure.
Written between June and July 2016, my ‘Partita espressiva’
picks up where Franck left off: in the key of A. It is both a
salute to the master, while also being a personal expression in
my own idiom. Light and dark aspects of a theme are explored,
and two Armenian melodies are featured. Even the role of the Amen
is significant in this musical sequence, looking equally towards
concert or church performance.
‘Partita narrativa’ in B was written between February
and April 2017. Op.22 stayed close to César Franck’s
spirit and plan. Though still indebted to this model, Op.23 has
a modified focus, and is the most demanding on both performer
and range of organ colours.
Throughout ‘Partita narrativa’ there is a strong
tonal pull towards F, rather than F sharp, as a notional ‘dominant’.
The Gregorian ‘Tonus Peregrinus’ is present in movements
1, 4 and 7, alongside a modified version of my Valse Locrienne,
a setting of the ‘Kol Nidrei’, an exploration of opposing
high and low pitched stops, and a melodic Madrigal.
Composed between June and July 2019, ‘Partita penultima’
in B flat has a range of harmonic idioms, from diatonic to stark,
less tonal, via degrees of chromatic richness. One Scottish, one
Welsh and three Irish themes are incorporated, - ‘The Caledonian
Hunt’s Delight’, ‘All Through the Night’,
‘Gartan’, ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’,
and ‘Slane’. The sixth movement comprises an ominous
tremolo and a seven-note motif of foreboding, which later brings
the work to its close.
Buy the music!
price £18.50. PDF copy £14.00