Composer Alfred V. Fedak
Price $12 (U.S.) Released 6/14
Use General, Recital
Difficulty Moderately difficult
Catalog no. 160-865
This exciting concert scherzo is based on a theme by Thomas Ravenscroft. The work begins quickly but quietly, with an apprehensive atmosphere. The music gains in energy and volume, building towards a dramatic conclusion. An impressive (though only moderately difficult) work for recital, or a Lenten postlude.
"Alfred Fedak, a distinguished American composer of hymns and church music, is a graduate of Hope College, Montclair State University, and Westminster Choir College. He currently works as a church musician in Albany, New York. Selah has published many of his compositions, all of which are notable for their solid craftsmanship and creativity. It certainly takes a creative mind to turn Ravenscroft’s tune for “Remember, O Thou Man,” a carol generally paired with the story of “The Fall” at Lessons and Carols, into a diabolical scherzo, which is what Fedak has done. Full of energy, the work uses ostinato in a variety of ways, often through an obsession with the repeated notes with which Ravenscroft’s tune begins. The opening is marked “Moving forward, but with apprehension.” It does take the piece a while to find its momentum, but this is part of the effectiveness of the overall plan. The momentum is aided by a general crescendo throughout the piece, including specific registrations by the composer. While the majority of the composition is in E-minor, the middle section traverses through F-sharp minor, C minor, B minor and C-sharp minor in short order. In the latter part of the piece, the forward momentum is again increased through an accelerando that builds to a full E-major chord— the first true place of rest in the piece. After a breath, the work concludes with a maestoso statement of the tune and a coda in A minor that provides a stirring conclusion and a satisfying foil to the hesitant opening. ... Fedak’s original take on Remember, O Thou Man is probably more suited to a recital than a service--it seems significant that the composer doesn’t mention the text commonly associated with the tune--and is worth investigating.” –AAM Journal, November 2014