Thanks for the warning on the dynamics. I had headphones on and I had my finger on the volume button to thwart off any incoming deafness defying frequencies.
Quite a piece. Phew, I'm exhausted and I didn't play it! As in the last piece of yours I heard, the piano solo with the 10ths in the bass (which was amazing in tonal sonority) this piece also does not disappoint. Where did you get your training for the harmonic progressions that you utilize in your compositions? School or self taught by books and ear training?
The beginning is fascinating because in many parts you have the traditional slow (long note) lines in the pedal and in one hand, while the other does this fast "Flight of the Bumble bee" type showcase in the other. I don't hear that that often in organ music which is to bad because the organ does such a good job at showing off this type of contrast between contrapuntal lines.
It really starts to rock at around minute 5 to the end. The complex rhythmic combinations are quite fun to listen to. And the ending.....oh my gosh, .....you but Beethoven to shame on this one regarding the ending of his 5th symphony. Okay it's finished, oh wait a moment, another ending phrase....okay I can rest.....oh wait... another reprise of ending cadences.....and now.....no , another cadence. Anyway, it put a big Cheshire grin on my face.
This would sound amazing in a large cathedral although the fast lines might get obliterated in the reverb wash.
Well, Cass, thank for you for your very detailed comments.
How I created the work is a mystery to me. I had an idea of the shape of the music and a few short musical sketches in my mind. I know what I did, and more or less how, but I could not tell you why I made the choices that I did. I was to engrossed in making the sounds that I wanted to consider method, other than a very general plan. Originally, it was to be a rondo. (I have just finished a rondo as an alternate version, and am trying to get the upload to work.)
I am entirely self taught in the matter of musical composition, and mostly self taught in piano, completely self taught in organ playing. Difficult, but it relieved me of the need to unlearn things! I have pored over Walter Piston and others, and the most that I learned was that all of the rules of music are mere extractions of principles used by composers of a particular period. That did not suit me, and so I developed my own ideas, which make sense to me, but which are hard to define, and would probably be meaningless to anyone else. Seminal books for me were "Music to My Ears" by Deems Taylor, and "What to Listen for in Music" by Aaron Copland. I read a book by Hindemith, which irritated me, because his position was that no one could become a composer without academic studies, so I set out to prove him wrong.
Among the early influences on my musical development, because they were so startling:
A Shostakovitch prelude, heard in 1947
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring
Bartok piano pieces, played by my friend
Rachmaninov, because of the way he derived his variations on a Paganini caprice
Tchaikowsky, who is every bit as melodic as I am not. His fifth symphony is the inspiration for the false ending I used.
As for the harmonies and contrasts, they are strictly my own ideas. In large part, they derive from the polyphony. The rhythmic patters are strictly my contrivances, sometimes based (freely) on boogie or dance patterns. My basic guide is "the ear is the final arbiter" I wish I could remember who said that. It was paraphrased by Duke Ellington, who said, "If it sounds good, it is good."
My lack of academic credentials has been something of a handicap, but I believe that if I had the credentials, I would not have developed any skills.
I don't know if what I have said is useful, but that is enough for a summary.