Komponist: Miller, Timothy
geheftet, 15/4 Seiten
for Flute and Organ
In October 1517 occurred an event that altered the course of Christian thinking (and much else besides); Martin Luther wrote his 95 Theses and, according to tradition, nailed them to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. The five hundredth anniversary of this shattering incident and the Reformation that followed was celebrated – or marked – in 2017 with special services, concerts, lectures, festivals even, especially in countries with a strong Lutheran tradition. One such country is Norway, where I have lived and worked since 1990.
I was asked by an organist colleague, Synnøve Seibt, if I knew of any works for flute and organ or flute and piano which had a Luther connection and could be used at a Luther-themed concert. I didn’t, but volunteered to compose one. The result is this short Partita da Chiesa which is dedicated to its first performers, Synnøve and flautist Åsa Lindroos. It is a set of free variations based on fragments drawn from a melody which Luther himself composed, for a text he also wrote, Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott. It is probably Luther’s best known and relished hymn.
Performers may care to perform (or have performed by a solo singer or a choir) Luther’s melody before they play the Partita da Chiesa so that the melody from which the motifs are drawn is presented complete first. The melody never appears complete in the Partita. Alternatively, the melody could be presented after the Partita, the fragments at last heard assembled into a singable tune.
The six sections of the piece should be played with only a slight pause between them so that the overall sweep of the partita is preserved. No attempt should be made to match the speed of any the sections of the partita to the speed at which the hymn Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott is sung. The partita is a study in motivic shape, not a series of functioning chorale preludes.
Timothy Miller, 2019