Psalm 88
for oboe and organ • David Ashley White

Composer David Ashley White
Released 2/2022
Use Instrumental
Difficulty Difficult
Catalog no. 160-961
Price $18 (U.S.)

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This powerful and dramatic piece for oboe and organ was written in 1991 and prepared for publication following its premiere recording by Grace Tice and Daryl Robinson on A Love So Fierce: Organ Works of David Ashley White (Acis). Headed with the verse from Psalm 88, "O Lord, my day and night I cry for you," the music explores the dark moods of lamentation that appear in the psalm’s verses. Beginning with an imploring and seeking tone, the music builds in several stages from desolate quiet to an intense climax and coda. Intended for professional players, it would be a deeply memorable selection for a Lenten service or as a recital offering in any season. Both instruments are used very creatively throughout--White began his own musical career as an oboist, and his decades of involvement with church music have resulted in numerous pieces for organ.



Mohawk River Suite

"This haunting work for oboe and organ is inspired by the words of Psalm 88, perhaps the bleakest of the psalter. The honesty and vulnerability found within the text have birthed an uncompromisingly dark and dissonant piece. Yet, despite the minor thirds, tritones, and dissonant harmonies, there is a pure lyricism, only magnified by the plaintive tone of the oboe. As the psalmist continues to call on God day and night, even while in misery, beauty and power can be found in the dissonance of this music. A congregation might be challened by this work, but it could be used as a powerful Lenten or Holy Week meditation in addition to the obvious recital possibilities. White began his musical career as an oboist, so the writing for both instruments is idiomatic and highly creative. As one example, the organ plays oscillating clusters, cometimes on a four-foot stop and other times on a fuller registration, recalling composers such as William Albright. Psalm 88 is a challenging piece to interpret and bring off in performance, but it would be well worth the effort." --AAM Journal, March/April 2023




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