Opus 1038

Symphony for Organ (2013)

for Organ

  • Masque
  • Sarabande
  • Chorale

Erik Simmons, organ

Duration: 21 min.

Dedication: for Erik Simmons

Contact the composer regarding perusal or performance materials.

Symphony for Organ (2013) was written for and is dedicated to Erik Simmons, whose enthusiasm for my organ music brought about a renewed period of creativity.

The overall symphony is cast as a dramatic progression from darkness into light. The first movement, Masque, is extremely violent and bleak. The title is used with a touch of irony—for this is not a masque of courtly diversion, but rather a furious struggle against the darkness, played out in a series of dramatic episodes following a Tudor-era formal design. The ending builds to a dramatic peak, and leaves us in shell-shocked silence.

The second movement, Sarabande, begins quietly and mournfully, and gradually gains in fervency. A faster middle section is a spinning dance before the return of the opening music. In the coda, the light gradually approaches.

The third movement, Chorale, evokes the colors of a new dawn. The music of the first movement’s struggle gradually becomes washed in the blaze of morning.

Though I did have a specific impetus in mind while composing, it seems best not to divulge it, so as to allow the listener to hear the symphony in a more universal manner. For indeed the existence of darkness and the desire and hope for light are ubiquitous and eternal.