Program Note for Perceptions of Antiquity

Perceptions of Antiquity is my first work for organ and was premiered by Robin Dinda at the AGO National Conference in 1986 in Ann Arbor.  As a young organist, I was interested in the vast resources of the organ for color and I was curious about the theories of rhetoric in baroque music.  I wondered if I could combine these interests in a new work.  Therefore, this piece divides into two parts.  In the opening sections, the material sounds free and improvisatory and closely models a toccata.  A slower central section balances the opening and closes the first half of the piece.  In the second part of the work, alternating manuals create a smooth and measured process that gradually becomes louder and more aggressive.  After that section, the music goes back to rhapsodic gestures and eventually the work settles on a very calm and static ending.