Organ Symphony No. 2 (2017)
- Rondo grave
- Sea Dream
- Sun Song
Duration: 34 min.
Dedication: for Philip Hartmann
Organ Symphony No. 2 (2017) was written for and is dedicated to German organist Philip Hartmann. In all of my works that employ larger-scale forms (not just organ compositions), I am continually looking for different ways of providing the form and structure. My first organ symphony (2013) comprised three larger movements that charted a progression from dark to light. By contrast, this second organ symphony comprises 12 shorter movements that together build a larger structure out of varied emotional states. Although the movements are different in character, there are connections of harmony and motive across them.
One goal behind this work is that it be suitable for effective performance on almost any organ, small or large. Most organ symphonies require a large instrument. By contrast, this piece can be played effectively on even a small organ with a limited number of stops (even a one manual organ with an octave pedal board). It can also be very effective on a large symphonic organ with many different colors and a huge tutti. Registration is left to the performer’s discretion, and the organist is strongly encouraged to use the full extent of whatever resources are available. (Some dynamics and a few manual/registration thoughts are provided only as possible, non-binding suggestions.)
(While the musical style and programmatic intent is quite different, I was inspired to write this piece after giving a number of performances of composer Andreas Willscher’s eighth organ symphony, also a work of short movements that can be played on even a very small organ.)