this is an organ piece bas(s)ed on the beautiful competition theme by Jonathan Orwig aka giwro_jon. I say bassed because you will find the theme being played in the bass with an improvisation over it.
Although this piece did not make it into the finals of Jonathan's contest I want to present it to you since it is a very personal work. It links to my youth in a very small town that had seen a booming era of silver mining in past centuries - which left it, despite its tinyness, with a university including a symphony orchestra and ... the biggest wooden church in middle europe. It is really BIG, with 2000 seats, and has a great organ - and great acoustics due to the nearly 400 years old wooden walls.
The cantor and organist of this church that happened also to conduct the symphony orchestra was one of the finest musicians I have ever met: Mr. Robert Bürger (Buerger), to whom I thankfully dedicate this piece. He was capable of concertantly playing the organ and the piano literature up to the highest grades, and I have often heard people saying that his improvisations were the main reason they would visit the service. Actually during the final music that was designated for the people to leave the church many of them would be staying seated until he finished.
He was the one that arranged my participation in the second violin group of the symphony orchestra when I was 12 years old, so I practically grew up in orchestra sound. I have to say that as far as I know never before or after a child was accepted in that orchestra so it was a big exception and I am very thankful. Maybe my love for writing interesting middle voices comes from that time . And I was exposed not only to the classical repertoire but also to contemporary music like Hindemith, Coenen, Seiber etc.
Also when he noticed several years later that I would need at least a minimal piano education for studying music he taught me for very low money ... although I did not even have a piano of my own and had to mow the lawn in the neigbourhood to practise there for a few hours in the week . I am sure it was not a big pleasure for him under these circumstances but he taught me not only the basics of piano playing but also general bass and what I needed for being accepted at the conservatory. I am very sure that without his extraordinary dedication I would not be a professional musician today.
When he improvised on the organ he would eventually start like searching, slowly developing an idea. It would become more and more hymnic, and the listener would be reminded to past centuries when 2000 or more miners were singing their hymns at exactly that place, not knowing whether they would return from under the earth that very evening.
This piece is written in this spirit, although it only can emulate a faint reflection of his art. Since the place and the situation often had such an archaic atmosphere and I finished the piece just befor easter I felt like naming it "eostre hymn" after that ancient divinity that gave her name to easter.