Chorale Prelude on 'Yigdal'
For Organ solo (1999)
by Ron Hannah


Duration: about 3 minutes

     When I was asked to contribute a work to a collection of organ preludes, I went thumbing through an old Protestant hymnal, looking for a tune that had a little more interest than the average four-square hymn. I found one called Yigdal (also known as Praise to the Living God), a traditional Jewish melody, and was intrigued by its tonal ambiguity - it seemed to begin

in F- and end in Ab+ That was enough. I proceeded to write an arpeggiated ostinato, under which I tucked this tune and also interpolated a few bars of my own at cadence points. The result is quite nice (though perhaps my style of dissonant tonality will not be to every congregation's liking) and makes an appropriate postlude or offertory piece. It was premièred by Victoria (Canada) organist, Curt Bergen, and has also been performed many times by Boston organist Carson Cooman, very active performers and two of my champions! I wonder how many more are out there?

     You may download page 1 (of 2) and hear a midi version of this piece by clicking on the strip below. To obtain the full score, please send me an email (I no longer deal with the original publisher of that collection). I stipulate one thing: if you play it, do send me details - date, location and performer - so that I can keep my Performances page up-to-date.

Hear "Yigdal"