In three movements and running about 20 minutes in performance time, this accessible organ concerto was developed from the smaller fantasies for organ and is intended for a modest instrument with minimal use of pedals. While the instrumentation is for organ and string orchestra, the orchestra parts can also be played by a string quintet. The Concerto for Organ and Strings was composed in memory of Katharine Peterson Gronen-Kaiser, a mentor and friend who died on April 23, 2011.
The world premiere performance of this work took place on July 20, 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, under the baton of David Felberg who led the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra. The composer was the soloist.
The concerto was inspired by the following passage which is found in a poem by St. John Perse:
The other night it thundered, and over the tombal
earth I heard echoing
that answer to man, which was brief, and was no more
My love, the downpour from that sky was with us,
God’s night was our foul weather,
and love, in all places, rose again toward its sources…
O Earth, our Mother, heed not this brood: the age is
swift, the age is legion, and life goes its way.
A singing rises within us which has not known its
source and will have no estuary in death:
equinox of an hour between Earth and man.
St. John Perse, 1971
Translated by Richard Howard
© Princeton University Press, 1977
This music published by Zimbel Press and is available in either ensemble or solo keyboard versions.