Psalms Observation of Clouds Loading

Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz?

Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz? for organ | 2012

Programme note

The extension of this J.S.Bach choral melody with his original harmonisation is made not through  transformation but only by its formation. The melody is repeated 10 times, as a bothersome question, progressively disclosing its notes and finally revealing the (almost) complete horizontal/melodic as well as vertical, 4-voiced harmonic version, as if the dust accumulated in time has been slowly cleaned from the Bach‘s manuscript. The only transformation is made on register and dynamics, starting from the highest organ notes and gradually going down towards the original range within the dynamic crescendo, which might remind of a tuning process (the extraction or purification of principal (=original) tones of the choral melody from their marginal overtones) as well as of landing of an acoustic object, which appears clearer, in a fuller shape, the closer it gets.

Occasion

The piece was co-commissioned by the Spitafields festival 2012 (London) and the Lithuanian Composers Union, for the project to complete Bach‘s Orgelbüchlein. 1st performance: 8 December 2012, perf. Colm Carey (org), St Peter-ad-Vincula, Tower of London (UK).

Duration

6' ca.

Performers

Colm Carey (UK), John Scott Whitely (UK), Tonya Chirgwin (UK), William Whitehead (UK), Enrico Presti (IT), Irena Friedland (IL, version for piano)