FMPNmBnr14

Prologue,  Five Variations,  and   Finale  on
Veni Creator Spiritus

Ambrosian plainchant melody for the Easter hymn
“Hic  est  diesverus  Dei”
and source of the hymn tune for
“Komm,  Gott  Schoepfer,  heiliger  Geist”

Notes

        Prologue, Five Variations, and Finale on the plainchant melody, Veni Creator Spiritus, is an extended composition for solo organ, written in a French  post-Romantic manner. It was inspired by the breadth and harmonic language of Maurice  Duruflé’s  magnum opus for organ on  the  same  chant  tune.

        The Prologue states the hymn in a boldly declamatory manner.  In the first variation, the chant sounds as a pedal solo, accompanied on manuals by a harmonized hymn version of the same tune (“Komm, Gott Schopfer, heiliger Geist”); each phrase is separated by cadenza-like interpolations.  The second variation presents the hymn tune soaring above animated rolling triplet figurations in  a miniature toccata.  The chant's  cantus  firmus  migrates  to  the  tenor  register  in  the  third  variation  for  a  richly harmonized appearance  at   a slowed  tempo.  In  the  fourth variation,  the  plainchant  is  elaborately  ornamented, recalling figurations from the Prologue:  it is sounded in canon between  soprano  and  alto  voices and  harmonized  by  lower  voices,  all  as accompaniment to  a simultaneous  cantus  firmus  statement  in  the  pedal.   In  the fifth variation, Veni Creator Spiritus reappears as a tenor solo, accompanied by soprano and alto voices in lively duet and underpinned by pedal. 


        The Finale's brooding introduction gives way to a developmental presen-tation of the plainsong tune soaring above and below accompanying voices that move in constant  triplet  motion.  As subsequent  phrases  appear and are interrupted by episodic interludes, intensity builds through to the last chant phrase, sounded in augmented note values.  A bold coda is heralded by the return of ornamental figurations from the Prologue and fourth variation, spinning out the chant’s Amen in overlapping imitation; other brief motivic reminders from the first and second  variations reemerge and lead to a strongly affirmative cadence.

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