Title, Duration, Place, Year, Publisher, Dedicated to, Premiere (performer(s), place, date)

Variationen über "Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele", 10', Bayonne, 2019, -, to Leo D. Abbott, Director of Music & Organist Emeritus, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, Leo D. Abbott, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, 25.10.20.


Variation I, Maestoso, presents a solemn, canonic statement of the theme enveloped by dense, closely-knit harmonies. Variation II, Allegro, is clothed in polyphonic lines reminiscent of Bach’s “Orgelbüchlein” chorales. Variation III, Vivace, is a playful bicinium with the cantus firmus featured in the soprano line, as the bass bounces along in a staccato duet. Variation IV, Adagio, displays rich chromatic harmonies which form a lush backdrop for the pedal solo. Variation V, Vivace, features the chorale in detached left hand notes while the right hand and pedal provide a playful accompaniment. In Variation VI, Andante, the melody vacillates between minor and major keys as syncopated left hand chords and pizzicato bass accompany the cantilena. In the concluding Variation VII, Presto, the left hand proclaims the theme in block chords as the right hand provides an exuberant garland of sixteenth notes while the pedal provides rhythmic drive with tympanic accents.


Leo D. Abbott



Naji Hakim : Variationen über "Freu dich sehr, O meine Seele", excerpt from the sketches