Variations on a Beach Spring - organ - Alfred V. Fedak

Composer Alfred V. Fedak
Price $16 (U.S.) Released 7/06
Difficulty Moderately easy
Catalog no. 160-641
Length 11'
Discography "Come, Creator Spirit" (Selah)

Buy a recording on Alfred V. Fedak - Come, Creator Spirit: Fedak Plays Fedak At Westminster Church, Albany - Variations On Beach Spring: I - Festive Prelude
Listen to excerpts
I. Festive Prelude
II. Hymn
III. Chanty
IV. Ostinato
V. Finale

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The hymntune BEACH SPRING first appeared in print in the 1844 edition of The Sacred Harp, but it was not until recent times that it began to be widely known and sung. Thus, organ music based on this tune is comparatively rare. This set of five variations was commissioned by the Organ Historical Society for its 50th anniversary annual convention, and premiered by Christopher Marks in June 2006. Sections of the work are titled Festive Prelude, Hymn, Chanty, Ostinato, and Finale. While written for performance on a 19th-century tracker organ of modest size, the work can be effectively played on any instrument.

"Here is a setting of an early American hymn tune from the 1844 edition of
The Sacred Harp. While not in current use in The Hymnal 1982 or Wonder, Love, and Praise, this tune evokes a sense that it is already known, and one can easily sing along. Commissioned by the Organ Historical Society for their 50th-annual convention, this set of variations works well on any size instrument. Individual variations could be extracted for use in a service or to show the colors of a particular instrument. Overall, the music is of medium difficulty." --The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, February/March 2008

“Alfred V. Fedak’s ‘Variations on Beach Spring’ [is] a set of variations based on the tune from The Sacred Harp (1844). The music isn’t at all difficult except for a few passages in the final variation that will keep you practicing. Registrations were originally conceived for a nineteenth-century tracker, but can easily be adapted to almost any instrument. First is a ‘Festive Prelude,’ an energetic movement that solos out the tune in the tenor and soprano. Next is a presentation of the tune that could also be used as an independent alternate harmonization. The middle movement of the set is entitled ‘Chanty,’ a rather rugged short section. Fourth is ‘Ostinato,’ which involves the wedging down of a key for the entire movement. To conclude, the ‘Finale is a loose fugue/toccata, which moves to a brilliant ending.” --AAM Journal, September 2010


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