Three 21st Century Hymn Tune Postludes
for  Organ

Duke Street,  God Rest You Merry
  Lobe den Herren

Click on the link below to download a PDF booklet
available 08/202



Postlude on Duke Street sets a hymn tune that first appeared in a collection published in 1793; not until its inclusion in William Dixon’s Euphonia in 1805 was  it  ascribed to John Hatton and given the name by which it is now known. The traditional melody is retained here with all of its original pitches and sequences intact, but the tune is reset into flowing notes of equal value. Each  successive phrase appears in points of imitation sounded in treble voices in rolling eighth notes, then extended over a cantus firmus pedal presentation (in augmentation). The harmonic language and textural writing call for bold registrations and an expansive tempo.

Paraphrase on God Rest You Merry is a neo-romantic toccata for organ set in a latter Romantic classical harmonic language. It begins with brief declamatory fragments evocative of the familiar 19th century English Christmas carol.  A toccata figuration ensues as accompaniment to reordered phrases of the melody,  rhythmically altered  to  sound as  consecutive  notes  of  chant.  At mid-point a  developmental  interlude reintroduces the toccata figuration with a shift from compound duple meter to grouped triplets, all sounded above expansively phrased statements of the tune. An  evocative  return  of  the  declamatory  introduction is heard,  then cedes to the pealing chords of  Paraphrase's coda.

Chorale Fantasy on Lobe den Herren is a dramatic  setting of a hymn tune that first appeared in altered form in Part II of the Straslund Ernewerten Gesangbuch (1665). It was adapted in 1680 for publication with a text by Joachim Neander, but not until the appearance of subsequent versions around the turn of the 18th century did it evolve into its contemporary format. Chorale Fantasy opens with brooding chromatic harmonies that build in waves to a heroically chordal statement of the first half of the tune, presented in canon between soprano and pedal voices. The chromatic writing of the beginning returns, building in intensity to a similarly canonic restate-ment of the second half of the melody, and concluded by a triumphal codetta.