Flemming Chr. Hansen (b. 1968) — In lumine Domini (Suite No. 4) (2012) for organ
1. Forsamlingsmusik (Gathering Music)
“In lumine Domini (Suite No. 4)” (2012) is from a large cycle of organ suites that each combine elements of traditional concert and church music with techniques from minimalist, ambient, and aleatoric (open form) music. Loosely inspired in concept by Tournemire’s “L´orgue mystique,” Hansen seeks in these suites to create music of meditative character that invites contemplation, with each suite being particularly suited for use in church services with a meditative cast. Each of the suites has the same four movement form, in which the first and third movements employ aleatoric/open form techniques to produce music of flexible structure and length. The second and fourth movements, by contrast, are through-composed in fixed form. All the musical material is linked throughout the suite. The first ten suites in the cycle were commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
Suite No. 4 lives largely in an extended C Lydian modal landscape. The opening movement is a slowly rotating series of related chords: all from the same harmonic collection, but with the exact voicings and harmonies changing subtly. In the second movement, a lyrical line is accompanied by a nervous, staccato accompaniment figure; the vertical position of the elements changes in each repetition, with two intervening chorale-like interludes. In the third movement, an abbreviated melody often leads to stacking chords (again playing with the contrast of held vs. staccato notes), and then one high “ping.” This sequence is varied and cut up into different combinations, or presented with elements left out. The fourth movement returns to the rotating harmonic sense of the first movement, but with a more active melodic component that is overlaid in different ways in each repetition.