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MUSIC FOR ORGAN, VOLUME 1

INTRADA

Despite its title, this march is suitable as entry or exit music for the bride, (or as a lively general-purpose organ voluntary).

It dates from August 1978, when it was written for the wedding of the composer’s sister. It was played again for the composer’s second wedding, to Rachel in September 2007.

As originally intended, the initial A section is complete in itself, and perfectly suitable for smaller churches or registry offices, where 35 seconds of music is sufficient. It is centred around a confident D major, but makes use of the composer’s style of ‘remote’ chording within a key.

The B minor section, which was added in 2008, is initially more restrained and employs a walking bass. It develops rhythmic ideas from the opening, and hints at F sharp minor before working its way back to a triumphant reprise of the first section.

MARCH IN D

This march is mostly in D major, with one section in Bb major. Structured as a rondo (A B A C A) the piece is conceived so that it can be played as A B A only, when occasion demands.

The C section is in Bb major, but its final part uses material from the B section to integrate the piece more convincingly.

PARAPHRASE ON ‘ROCKINGHAM’

This was written at the request of Dr Hugo Agius Muscat, organist at St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta and Director of St Paul’s Choral Society, Valletta.

PASSACAGLIA BREVIS

Passacaglia brevis, composed in 2011, has four sections, A B A1 B1. There are two recurring seven-note bass figures (so strictly speaking it is more of a Chaconne than a Passacaglia).

The opening section is in the Aeolian mode based on the note A and underpinned by the notes A B C B D E B as the initial bass theme. The note pattern recurs seven times before modulating to the dominant, E major, for the second section.

Here, the second bass figure uses the notes E G# C# D# A F# B five times before the first one returns – this time in the A Lydian mode, which has the effect of raising the opening minor ambience to the major.

The final section, serving as a coda, uses the second passacaglia theme once more, concluding in a stable E major.

INTermezzo

This voluntary in A major was written for the occasion of the wedding of Joanna and Bertie, 24 October 2009.

It has two main ideas: a lilting subject in 12/8 time based on running quavers, and a 10/8 subject based on semiquaver rising thirds.

The themes are varied each time they are presented, with a central reprise in the remote key of Ab major, before returning to the tonic key for a gentle concluding coda.

RECESSIONAL MARCH IN G

This piece, suitable as concluding music for a ceremonial occasion, is in five sections: A B A1 C A2.

The recurring main theme, hymn-like in style, has a different two-bar ending for each of the three hearings. The first episode is in E minor, and is largely set over a tonic pedal. The second episode, in C major, is presented twice, and gently parodies Elgar with the nobilmente second hearing an octave higher.

The piece would also be suitable for shortening to A B A, ending at bar 36.