composition

Toccata und Klagens-Fuge in A

for Organ

  • Genre
    Keyboard
  • Commissioned by/written for
  • Year completed
    2006
  • Year revised
    2010
  • Timing
    6:00
  • Catalog number
    200
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Toccata und Klagens-Fuge in A Minor was part of my then-ongoing series of Toccatas and Fugues in every major and minor key, a project which yielded only three completed specimens of the genre. The Toccata was written in 2006, and I was stuck for the idea of a fugue, so put the piece aside. In 2010, it occurred to me that one of the pieces in my Trumpeteria (a multi-movement work for trumpet ensemble) would suffice--with arrangement--for the missing fugue. The work was based on a theme from my Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, written for trumpeter James Klages. I'd taken the musical letters from his name to create this theme, which showed up again in that movement from Trumpeteria. In adapting it to organ, I also thought of making it a Klagens-Fuge, since that name is close to Klages, and in German means "lamenting." That idea further inspired me to sneak in the "Schmuyle" theme from my favorite piece of music, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. That particular theme is pleading and even lamenting, and so seemed to fit in well with the rest of the fugue.

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