Selected Chant-Based Organ Works of Naji Hakim: The Influence of Improvisation 

Paperback – August 21, 2008 by Heather Hernandez

Naji Subhy Paul Irénée Hakim, born in 1955 in Beirut, Lebanon, is one of the most recent representatives of the impressive French tradition of organist-composer-improvisers. Many of Hakim's organ works incorporate Gregorian chant. This work provides a brief biography of Naji Hakim and a detailed analysis of three of his chant-based organ works composed between 1993 and 2001. The compositions examined are Mariales (1993), Vexilla Regis Prodeunt (1994), and In Organo, Chordis et Choro (2001). Naji Hakim, like his teacher Jean Langlais, is renowned for his skills as an improviser. His compositional style exhibits similarities to his improvising. This study summarizes Hakim's improvisation techniques as detailed in his book, The Improvisation Companion, published in 2000. It then examines three of his chant-based organ works, with the intent of showing those elements of his compositional style that are parallel to his improvisation techniques. This analysis should help introduce organists and other musicians to the chant-based organ works of Naji Hakim.