Organist Grant Moss gave Hymnos its premiere performance in a recital at Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield, Massachusetts, on October 20, 2013.
The ancient Greek word “hymnos” gave us the Latin word “hymnus” and the English word “hymn.” Hymnos is replete with many well-known, well-loved hymn tunes including: MICHAEL, STAR IN THE EAST, ALL MY HOPE ON GOD IS FOUNDED, LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVES EXCELLING (HYFRYDOL), AMAZING GRACE, JESUS SHALL REIGN WHERE’ER THE SUN, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, YE WATCHERS AND YE HOLY ONES, and JERUSALEM, MY HAPPY HOME.
Commissioned in honor of organist and choirmaster Peter Beardsley on his retirement from Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield, MA, this work comprises two movements. The first movement is based on Star in the East from South Harmony, and the second is based on Michael and Hyfrydol. These three main tunes are personal favorites of Beardsley and the composer. Portions of additional hymn tunes are stated throughout. Registrations and rhythmic groupings of septuplets and octuplets at times give an ethereal effect. Changing and irregular meters are prominent, as well as an array of dynamics. This music will be best served when presented on a well-voiced, three-manual instrument by an organist familiar with the instrument, as frequent registration changes are employed. It is suitable for recital, hymn festival introduction, or other special-presentation occasions.
CrossAccent, Spring 2015