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Hymn and Fuguing Tune (2008)

Instrumentation: Two flutes and piano
Duration: ca. 4'
Premiere Date: July 19, 2008, Wooster, OH

Program Note

In preparing for my wedding in 2008, I knew I wanted to write a piece for the ceremony, dedicated to my wife. I chose to personalize it in two ways. First, the accompanimental and cadential material is derived from our initials (C-C-G—with the first C acting as a substitute for K—for Kelly Christine Gesch, and D-A-B, for Douglas Allan Buchanan). Second, the primary subjects are two hymns which I chose to represent our two liturgical traditions: hers, Lutheran, represented by Ein feste Burg, and mine, Presbyterian, represented by The Ash Grove, which, albeit Welsh and not Scottish, was a musical fixture in the church where I grew up. Though The Ash Grove is perhaps more apparent, it appears in counterpoint against Ein feste Burg during the contemplative opening prelude, the “hymn” portion of the work. As is typical in this genre originating in colonial American, the “fuguing tune” section picks up the pace, and proceeds with an imitative texture for most of the rest of the work. The subject combines the two tunes into one hybrid compound melody, against which the piano states The Ash Grove as a cantus firmus in augmentation. After the “stretched out” hymn finishes its statement, the fuguing tune gently ends, and we return to the opening material, finally reaching a cadence on the opening initials, C-C-G and D-A-B.

Hymn and Fuguing Tune was premiered on July 19, 2008 in Wooster, Ohio, by Aislinn Manning and Clint Steinbrunner, flutes, and Peter Mowrey, piano. It is dedicated to Kelly Buchanan.

— Douglas Buchanan


Hymn and Fuguing Tune


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