This item is the fullscore only.
Solo Portatif Organ
(minimum string size of 2-2-2-2-1, larger section preferred)
A "Baroque" string orchestra (i.e., one containing instruments with
gut strings and period bows) is preferred. If modern instruments
are to be used, the performance of the work must be informed by
an understanding of Baroque performance practice for string
The string parts are marked thus without any notated slurs
and with a minimum number of dynamic markings.
Concerto for Portatif Organ and Strings (2006) was commissioned by the Harvard
Baroque Chamber Orchestra and its director, Robert Mealy. The work is dedicated
to organist Nancy Granert, for whom the solo part was written. The work was
commissioned in celebration of the von Clemm Chamber Organ at The Memorial
Church, Harvard University, built in 2006 by Klop Organ Builders.
As with many of my works, relationships between old and new musical concepts are
explored. In this piece, musical aspects of the Baroque organ concerto tradition
(and Baroque style string playing) co-exist with more contemporary musical
elements. In particular, the directness of expression found in many Baroque
concertante works is present throughout. Musical material is shared between the
movements in a motivic fashion.
The title of the first movement, Bricolage, is defined as "something made or put
together using whatever materials happen to be available." Thus, the musical
material for the movement is of varying characters, these elements are assembled
together in ways that allow them to comment on and inform each other. Some of
these musical elements include: a traditional "overture" texture, a Basse de
Trompette texture (with an organ reed stop in the left hand) common in French
Baroque organ music, and the French keyboard toccata style.
The second movement, Elegia, is dark and searching in tone. It begins with a
rageful roar before quieting down to introduce its basic musical material &ndash, a simple
"lament" theme in a folk-inflected style. This material is used for further explorations,
building to passionate climaxes. Finally, the opening music returns, but this time
with a whisper. The movement winds down to a sad conclusion.
After the soul-searching of the second movement, the third movement, Rondeau, is
sprightly and energetic. The basic material is a set of Baroque and Classical-style
figurations (with a few American gospel inflections thrown in), firmly grounded in G
major. After minor diversions, the original material continues to return and ends the
work with unfettered joy.