Four 21st Century Baroque
Hymn Tune Settings

for Organ

Aberystwyth,  Llangloffan,  & Nun Danket Alle Gott  (2 settings)

Click on the link below to download a PDF booklet
available 11/2023



Invention on Aberystwyth makes use of a Baroque keyboard idiom for the settings of Welsh hymn tunes presented here. Written by Joseph Parry, Aberystwyth was first published in a collection that  appeared in 1879, Ail Llyfr Tonau ac Emynau; it takes its name from a Welsh seaside resort. In Invention’s contrapuntal textures, the lower of two voices offers an extended thematic ostinato, returning at varied key levels and weaving its way around the longer notes of the hymn’s treble cantus firmus phrases. The setting is for two manuals without pedal.

Chorale Prelude on Llangloffan provides a somber setting of a traditional Welsh hymn tune. Strongly imitative and  modeled after German Baroque organ chorale preludes, it presents the original melody as a cantus firmus in  the tenor voice, actually played in the pedal. Ornamentations are notated in the manner of Baroque performance  practices.

The two chorale preludes on Nun danket alle Gott are modeled after large scale settings by Johann Sebastian Bach. The first prelude is identified by the term manualiter, indicating that it is intended for perfomance on the keyboards only, without pedal. In contrast, the second setting — for organo pleno is tightly imitative in its repetitive use of a driving thematic motiv borrowed from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein chorale prelude, “In Dir ist Freude” (BWV 615), as well as in the application of traditonal phrase by phrase augmented cantus firmus soundings of the hymn tune, repeated between soprano and bass lines. A strong rhythmic vitality is present throughout, generated by energetic contrapuntal textures.