Duration: 8 min.
When everything seems to have been said, it might be better to keep silent – or possibly try to view the past anew with the endless means that are at the disposal of a contemporary composer?
This passacaglia is such a “contemplation”. As this is a gaze back into the past, the piece starts with the last variation and ends with the theme alone in the Pedals.
The first part of the theme, the so-called passus duriusculus or “somewhat hard pace”, is fundament of many Baroque compositions. The second part of the theme is inspired by Romantic passacaglia themes. The key of f minor has a long tradition in the history of the passacaglia. The theme presents all the 12 chromatic notes in the western classical musical scale.
In this passacaglia, Baroque, Romantic and Modern composition techniques are used side-by-side. This creates a sort of musical “patchwork” – very appropriate for our time –, held together by the theme only.
The registration indications are not obligatory. The manual indications signify: I = Great; II = Choir (Positif); III = Swell.
The piece was commissioned by Inger-Lise Ulsrud and was composed with kind support of the Norwegian Composers’ Fund.
About the composer +
Jon Laukvik was born in 1952 and received his earliest music training as organist and pianist in his native town Oslo. He went on to study organ at the University of Music in Cologne with Michael Schneider and harpsichord with Hugo Ruf. He also studied organ privately with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris.
From 1980 till 2016, he was professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart. Since 2001 he is also professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. He is also a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Jon Laukvik has toured throughout Europe, Canada, Japan, Korea, Israel and the United States. He is frequently in demand to serve on competition juries and to teach seminars and masterclasses.
He is author of a highly successful organ tutor Historical Performance Practice in Organ Playing in three volumes, published by Carus-Verlag.
He has edited the Handel Organ Concerti Op. 7 for Carus-Verlag (together with Werner Jacob). A complete edition of the organ works of Louis Vierne in 13 volumes (edited together with David Sanger) was published by Carus-Verlag in 2008.
His compositions include works for solo organ, organ with other instruments (i.e. piano, percussion, trumpet, trombone, cello, horn) as well as vocal and instrumental works.
"The work appears as a very exciting and innovative passaglia … A pastiche composition where you recognize elements, concerning both form and tonality, from the big historical passacaglias as by Bach, Rheinberger, Reger, Martin … The print is very pleasant, with good fond and staff sizes, printed on clear cream coloured and nicely bound paper, which emphasizes the quality … an outstanding edition".
Norsk Kirkemusikk (No. 6 / 2012)
(Journal of the Norwegian Church Musicians)
" … the piece opens in a radical way, i.e. with the last variation in a lustrous tutti, and ends with the theme alone - pppp - in the Pedal … it represents an inventive contribution to this type of musical form".
Musik & Kirche (No. 2 / 2013) ____________
"After the majestic opening the piece then wanders through variations that are linked to different composition styles, with the theme as the common fundament".
Kyrkomusikernas Tidning (No. 5 / 2013)
"... the language is consistently engaging and fresh, with an inventive and entirely idiomatic approach to figuration and layout. Technical difficulties are not great ... A fine work, which deserves numerous performances".
Choir & Organ (No. 3 / 2013)
Front cover graphics: Sune Kliborg Lynge (Kliborg Design)
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER
Engraving: Johan Svitzer