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The Hymn of the Pearl (2005)
I – Prelude
II – Cantilena
III – Intermezzo
IV – Adagio
V – Introduction & Passacaglia
The Hymn of the Pearl was composed for Nicolas Kynaston in gratitude
for playing the organ on the day of my marriage to Lisete da Silva.
It can be seen as incidental music to the Gnostic text of the same
name found in the Acts of Thomas. Each of the five movements relate
to one another both thematically and stylistically; the ‘pearl-theme’
(Prelude bars 5 & 6) has references throughout which parallel
its importance in the story.
The work is intended for performance on an organ with three manuals.
I have been unspecific about any registration as there can be many
different solutions for making each instrument sound at its best.
It would, however, be ideal to adopt a ‘romantic’ approach
to the colour scheme; blending the tones as far as possible (especially
in louder sections) and avoiding the use of stops which spoil the
clarity of texture or the sound of other combinations. Metronome
marks are suggested but should be ignored when it comes to performance
in favour of bringing spirit to the music in whatever way the performer
Work for solo organ
Duration: about 55 minutes / 62 pages spiral-bound with covers
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The Hymn of the Pearl
Cover illustration: The Hymn of the Pearl –
Part 2 by Sharon Blanchfield
in the collection of Peacock Studios (Ontario, Canada), reproduced
with kind permission.