Luthersche Klänge und Melodien in Fragmenten - ein interessantes Werk für Orgel solo
All the melodies in this piece were constructed from melodic fragments extracted from chorale melodies. These melodies were either written by Martin Luther (1483-1546) or moulded into shape by other composers using melodic ideas by him.
Luther plundered plainsong and secular melodies to form his new melodies. These melodies had to be easily singable and preferably easy to remember. Fragments of Luther imitates Luther’s compositional practice similarly plundering four chorale melodies: Vom Himmel hoch, Christ lag in Todesbanden, Aus tiefer Not, Mit Fried und Freud.
A melody not quarried here is Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott, probably Luther’s most popular chorale.This is because I had previously written a short work – Partita da chiesa for flute and organ – based on fragments from this chorale and felt this to be enough exploitation of that melody. The three sections of Fragments of Luther provide a (very) loose musical portrait of Luther: section one, the inquisitive, agitated theologian; section two, the reflective monk, and the singer with a sweet, light tenor voice; section three, the pugnacious reformer, energetic and decisive.
The piece is playable on a two-manual instrument but players with larger instruments at their disposal should not feel compelled to restrict themselves to the manual suggestions in the score; more expansive possibilities are encouraged.
In addition to the conventional arpeggio (in which the lowest note of a chord is sounded first),the inverted arpeggio is used in this piece. Here the chord is spread top-down.Inverted arpeggios are indicated with downward pointing arrow heads attached to the bottom of the arpeggio symbol.