ANDREW VIOLETTE (b.1953): Sonata for the Creation of the World.
Catalogue Number: 10N080
Label: Composers Concordance Records
Description: This work of epic dimensions and ambition depicts the Creation, from the emergence of primal light from the void through the successive days of creation to a final hymn of praise. If this sounds like something Messiaen might have done, it would certainly be true to suggest that that is an apt comparison, especially for the work's first and second parts - the three creation movements and the relatively brief 'Dance of Joy', which abound in highly chromatic, non-functional chordal harmony, very reminiscent of the French composer. The enormous final movement is more contrapuntal in nature, beginning with an extended hymn-like chorale section, and ha a more resolved, tonal feel than the earlier parts of the piece, the chromaticism here of a 19th-century, late-romantic flavor. Toccata-like virtuosic figuration is largely avoided in favor of the organ's capacity for rich, sustained harmonic sonority. The Sonata is tightly organized along both numerological-serial and thematic relationship and metamorphosis, with extended variation sections. The effect for the listener, though, is primarily of a grand, slowly evolving, largely tonal-sounding work, thoroughly accessible despite its extravagant dimensions. 3 CDs. Andrew Violette (organ of Baptist Temple, Brooklyn).