Inventions for organ

Inventions for organ was composed in 1978 in Binghamton, New York and given its World Premiere in 1980 by organist, Leonard Raver, at the International Contemporary Organ Music Festival in Hartford, CT. The five-movement piece is dedicated to Leonard Raver.

Invention #1 is for pedals alone and, though grounded in a “C” tonality, utilizes all tones of the chromatic scale. Its principal rigorous motivic pattern is transformed throughout the piece and places emphasis on the intervals of the 10th and 3rd with a constant fluctuation of major and minor tonalities.

Invention #2 is for manuals alone and is based on six pitches: A, E, B, G♯, D♭ and F. The opening lyrical section, in a somewhat strict tempo, appears again in the middle of the piece and at the end. It is contrasted by two inner sections of a more improvisatory character.

Invention #3 is a scherzo based on the other six pitches of the chromatic scale not used in Invention #2. Its form is that of an inverted rondo in which the rondo sections, in strict meter, are preceded by fast ad lib dialogue sections played on low-pitched reed tone and high-pitched flute tone.

Invention #4 opens with an improvisatory section for the celeste strings and a 4′ flute. A contrasting section of a more rhythmic nature, making use of an ostinato pattern of staccato 9th’s, follows. The return of the improvisatory material, with added counterpoint, brings the movement to a close.

Invention #5 sets forth a steady driving rhythm, which permeates the entire movement. From the sparse texture, built on an eighth-note/minor third ostinato, Invention #5 develops as one long crescendo of added pitches to the power of full organ, ending abruptly.

Dan Locklair