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Rondo 'Moderato misterioso'
for solo pipe organ

Work no. 19

Aside from many recorder miniatures, I only composed two works in 2010, but I'm very fond of both of them. One was Suomi Jukebox, and the other was this rondo. It was meant to be a the first in a triptych of organ pieces with increasingly odd tempo indications. The second piece, called Canon 'Adagio senza tempo', was only completed two years later. In my sketches for the last piece, 'Lento con fuoco', the contrapuntal voices became so hopelessly tangled and convoluted that I had to abandon it.

My very first notated pieces (from c.2006) were all for organ – attempts at ricercars, fugues, and chaconnes inspired by Pachelbel, Froberger, and Kerll. I love the instrument, but composing for the organ is a difficult task. I felt like I could not compete with the perfection achieved by 17th century masters. And I couldn't really compose for something like a Cavaillé-Coll organ without having the actual instrument in front of me, because of the limitless timbral possibilities such organs offer. So when I completed the rondo, I was really happy about it. Not only the piece was beautiful, but it was also my first "proper" work for organ: inspired by Pachelbel et al., yet not defined by them.

The piece was first performed by Carson Cooman in September 2020 on a 2014 Orgelbau Fleiter organ. He has very kindly made his performance available online:

PDF score

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