A quick note and a new piece today!  First the piece: I felt that the Lenten Improvisations ended right where they needed to end.  But upon further reflection, I decided to add an addendum piece, namely a Toccata.  A Resurrection Toccata!  It is straight forward (or rather up) as a French style toccata should be.

And the quick note: I am migrating all the free works to IMSLP.  It will take a little time to get all the links from previous posts, but it will happen.

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Happy Holy Week!  I had hoped to get this posted before this evening, but as composition goes, these things are never timely.  I sometimes get caught in some small details and these last two pieces were no exception.  There were parts of each that didn’t satisfy me after an initial play-through.  But, as all things must come to a completion, the Lenten Improvisations are complete with the completion of the last improvisation, the Palm Sunday Improvisation.  I also wanted to round the collection with toccata for Easter.  It is a pretty straight forward work, much like the Miniatures and the Lenten Improvisations, but is a much more joyous work. Enjoy the works and Happy Holy Week!

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There are some days, as a composer, and more specifically an organist composer, when I relish in good chorale writing.  On those days when I play the chorale harmonizations of Bach or Vaughan Williams, they are so perfect and I never feel the need to do something to make them more exciting.  That being said, keeping one’s voice-leading and chorale writing skills in good shape can lead to a piece like today’s Lenten Improvisation.  It’s a chorale.  Simple as that.

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For this week, the 4th Sunday in Lent, the Improvisation is a little more joyous and clear.  One of the aspects that I have enjoyed in writing these pieces is letting them be what they are rather than coming to an obvious conclusion.  Not that the latter is a bad thing (see the Miniatures), but sometimes a lack of ending is important.  Lent is certainly a season that anticipates something immense and the music should reflect that.  This 4th Sunday is of course Laetare Sunday, reminding us to rejoice.  The 4th Improvisation has a clear structure and form, a reminder of the powerful moments to come.

PS: It was just pointed out that the third system had no repeats but had text that read implied the repeats.  That text has been taken out.  In actually performing the work, I found that repeat to be intrusive to the flow of the work.

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Today I present the next two Lenten Improvisations.  The first, Improvisation II, has similarities to Improvisation I, but fleshed out in a different manner.  The second, Improvisation III, is an inverted canon.  Of course, that’s a simplification of technique, but each is again an exploration of a single stop color that can be found on most instruments.  I continue to find the exploration of an individual stop to be challenging and the challenge is what makes it inviting!

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Greetings on this First Sunday in Lent!  For the first time ever, I am making a post that does not involve some kind of Youtube video.  Mostly due to time, I don’t foresee myself having the opportunity to make any recordings of this next round of short pieces over the coming weeks.  But I still want to get these works out in a timely manner, namely one piece per week this coming Lenten season.  Without further ado, here is the first Lenten Improvisation.

It is a very introspective piece and one that certainly ends on a musical question mark.  I think that’s incredibly appropriate to the Lenten season as it anticipates something to come.  It is a time of preparation and having music that reflects something coming is hugely important.

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Today, I had hoped to present one last Alleluia before Lent starts on Wednesday, but I was unable to get a decent recording that I felt was worthy of posting.  This Communion improvisation, on the other hand, is quite nice.  It’s static opening motive, I think, lends itself well to the meditative qualities of the communion procession.  I am still fascinated trying to use one stop or one color for as long as I think is aesthetically pleasing, which I feel works well here.  Not in a contrapuntal way either, simply that the aesthetic and color lends itself to slow change before truly introducing the chant.