Variations on
Jesu, Dulcis Memoria
for Organ 
$12.00  per score

 

About the Work 

In early 2022, an organist friend and colleague, Gary James, wanted to commission me to write a chant-based organ work. Even with my organist background and the length of time that I've been composing, Gary knew that that I still did not have any organ pieces in my repertoire. Although this was puzzling, I believe it was simply because I was hesitant to write for an instrument that I no longer played regularly. Many of you who know my journey, know that I had to cease playing the organ for factors beyond my control, which inadvertently led me to the path of composition years later. The more I thought about Gary's offer however, the more I realized that writing an organ work might actually keep me connected to the instrument, just in a different way. So, I decided to give it a go, and chose the chant "Jesu, Dulcis Memoria," in which five variations eventually emerged.  I knew I couldn't merely send this piece out without playing it myself, so I scheduled some practice time at St. James Cathedral, Seattle to "test it out." Given that I am only able to practice for short amounts of time, I thought I'd make the best of it and record a little video preview of a couple of these variations, which you can listen to above. I'm very thankful to Gary for pushing me to finally write an organ work, and I am hopeful that many of my organist friends and colleagues will enjoy playing this piece in their recitals and worship services. 

 

Program Notes

These five variations are inspired by the Latin hymn, “Jesu, dulcis memoria.” The piece can be played straight through, perhaps in conjunction with a cantor or choir singing the chant in Latin between the variations. For liturgical use, the first four variations could be played as a prelude and/or offertory piece, with the final variation as a postlude. The suggested organ registrations should be adapted to the particulars of the instrument.

European Premiere by Russell Weismann at Johanneskirche in Düsseldorf, Germany - October 16, 2022

Duration - 5'