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Organists' Review: February 2009

DIVERSIONS ON A CHORALE: VATER UNSER IM HIMMELREICH
14077

DIVERSIONS ON A CHORALE: VATER UNSER IM HIMMELREICH, Organ Solos & Duets

Composer: SPEDDING ALAN

Voice: ORGAN

Arranger: BINNINGTON STEPHEN (ED.)

£4.95

The Lord's Prayer and the melody associated with Martin Luther's version of the text, published by Valentin Schumann in Geistliche Lieder (Leipzig, 1539) has inspired composers throughout the ages. Chorale variations were a favourite and, indeed, a most successful vehicle for Alan Spedding's solo organ music. Urbs Beata and Ave Maris Stella are splendid examples of their kind. It is entirely appropriate, therefore, that his final organ composition, published here posthumously, was a set of variations (diversions) on the chorale, Vater unser im Himmelreich.

Composed in 2013 and first performed by the composer during an organ recital in All Saints' Parish Church, Hessle on Wednesday 12th June, 2013, it fulfilled a desire by Dr. Spedding to write a set of variations for manuals which could be played on a small two-manual instrument.

The nine movements contain a rich diversity of compositional techniques ending with a three-part harmonisation of the chorale theme; nothing is over stated. This finely crafted work is a fitting testament to a musician who enriched the lives of so many.

 


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