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Organ Overture

for orchestra with concert organ

Year:  2006   ·  Duration:  8m
Instrumentation:  organ (2-3 manuals and pedals) + 3*222; 4231; timp., 3 perc.; strings | (Perc: bass drum, vibraslap, susp. cymbal, xylophone, side drum, snare drum, tam-tam, crash cymbals)

Year:  2006
Duration:  8m
Instrumentation  organ (2-3 manuals and ped...

Composer:   Anthony Ritchie

Films, Audio & Samples

Anthony Ritchie: Organ Over...

Embedded audio
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Sample Score

Sample: Page 1-8

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'Organ Overture' was commissioned by the Southern Sinfonia to celebrate the orchestra's 40th anniversary. It was written and funded as part of the composer's work at the University of Otago. It features a prominent part for concert organ, and is also partly a tribute to 'Norma', the Dunedin Town Hall organ. Orchestras often bring together many threads of a musical community, and are a vital part of the culture in New Zealand cities. The diversity of instruments and musicians on display in an orchestra are a great source of inspiration for composers and music-followers alike. In this overture I give thanks to the Sinfonia, and wish it a long and happy future. Elements of southern weather find their way into the music. The piece opens stormily, with jagged lightning and rumbling thunder. A vigorous theme emerges and leads to a gusty, pulsating passage. As this calms a little, a drum rhythm appears. Following a flowing melody on strings, accompanied by the organ, the percussion rhythm battles with rest of the orchestra. This leads to a fugue on the woodwinds, based on the opening melody. The organ then takes over with a brief cadenza, leading to a rhythmic coda in which the main themes are summarised.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the Southern Sinfonia of Dunedin, to celebrate the orchestra's 40th anniversary.

Dedication note

Dedicated to the Southern Sinfonia

Performance history

09 Sep 2006: Performed by the Southern Sinfonia at the Dunedin Town Hall, in Dunedin

12 Sep 2007: 2007 NZSO-SOUNZ Readings 2