For the Means of Grace & for the Hope of Glory-David Ashley White
Composer David Ashley White
Price $17.50 (U.S.) Released 10/99
Difficulty Moderately difficult
Catalog no. 160-835
Discography: Sinfonia Festiva (Summit-DCD436), Paul Skevington, organist
A dramatic work for recital or festive church use. Since it was conceived for a two-manual tracker organ, the work is successfully playable on smaller instruments, though easily adapted to performance on larger organs. "For the Means of Grace" takes its title from the Book of Common Prayer, the Prayer of General Thanksgiving, and is a phrase that resonated with the composer many years before he used it as the title for the piece. Commissioned by the Washington, D.C., organist Francine Maté in 1999, and premiered at Grace Church, Georgetown, the work falls into a large ABA design, with motivic unity connecting the sections. The "A" features fanfare-like material, while the "B" is very lyrical, often a melody hovering above or beneath an ostinato pattern. Throughout the piece, the pedal line plays an important role.