Variations on a Quiet Theme
Composer Kent Kennan
Price $20.00 (U.S.) Released 7/96
Difficulty Moderately difficult
Catalog no. 160-872
"Afficionados of American organ literature take heart. Selah has published an important work never before available. Kennan, author of the well-known textbook, Counterpoint, originally composed this set of variations in 1952, and revised them in 1995 for this publication. Kennan's style is linearly conceived against a strong harmonic backdrop reminiscent of composers like Hindemith. While the theme is present in each of the variations, mood, color, and texture are the predominant focus rather than a direct restatement of the theme. Even more commendable, the work is 'playable' and fits well under the hand (you can't say that about every 20th-century organ work). While this may not be for the worship service, it is well-crafted and deserves attention from serious organists. Recommended." -Cross Accent, January 1997
"This is the only organ piece by Kennan, noted as a teacher and the author of a standard textbook on orchestration-a somewhat romantic piece written in 1952 and revised in 1995. Both theme and variations are short, and the composer makes effective use of organ timbres. While it is meant to be played as a whole, parts could be excerpted-the final variation would make a fine service voluntary." -AAM Journal, July/August 1997.
Kent Kennan, the famous 20th-century composer and author of the much used textbooks Counterpoint and The Technique of Orchestration, has given his considerable talents to the composing of this piece, his only work for the organ. It is a complex and moving setting of variations, fully utilizing the organ's expressive possibilities. Moderately difficult.