FMPNmBnr14

Fantasy   on
Down  Ampney
for Organ
(7 pages of music)

Notes

            Fantasy on  Down Ampney  is a multi-sectional hymn setting based on an original tune composed and prepared by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the 1906 English Hymnal, where it is paired with the text, "Come down, O Love divine."  The tune name is derived from the composer's birthplace near Cirencester in Gloustershire. 

         Vaughan Williams' melody consists of two phrase groups, each group three phrases in length.  The two phrase groups have been divided at midpoint to create a bipartite structure for Fantasy: the first half offers the first phrase group in three variations, followed by the second half of the tune treated in three similar variations, although presented in a different order.  

        Fantasy
is launched by a brief contrapuntally imitative section based on the first phrase group, followed by a gentle hymn-like variation on the same phrases. 
In a third variation, the first phrase group is sounded boldly in canon between soprano and bass (pedal) voices and spun out to a dramatic pause.  The second half of the hymn tune appears in a gently harmonized guise; after a short recitative, the phrases reappear in extended contrapuntal imitation reminiscent of the opening variation. The canonic treatment between pedal and soprano reemerges and builds in intensity to a dramatic hiatus. The movement is concluded with a brief but boldly hymn-like organo pleno codetta.

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