Bryan Hesford (1930–1996) — Aria and Litany (in memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich), op. 55 (1977) for organ
“Aria and Litany (in memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich)”, op. 55 (1977) employs the D-S-C-H motive that the Russian composer Shostakovich (1906–1975) used as musical signature in many of his own works. Hesford’s diptych was written for Alwin Friedel, then the Bachkantor in Arnstadt, Germany. The very slow and static aria is followed by a litany based on a repeating melodic figure and crunchy harmonic cross-relations.
Bryan Hesford (1930–1996) was an English composer and organist. Educated in England, France (with Marcel Dupré), and Germany, Hesford maintained lifelong ties to Germany and was a particular advocate for the music of his teacher Max Drischner and the Belgian composer Flor Peeters. As an music editor, Hesford supervised numerous publications for Cramer Music and also made organ arrangements of music by a number of composers, especially Erik Satie. Hesford was also greatly interested in the sacred folk music of Eastern European countries. He maintained connections with many organists in those countries and composed a number of works based on these folk hymns. Hesford held numerous organist positions in the United Kingdom including ones at Newcastle Cathedral, Wymondham Abbey, Brecon Cathedral, and St. Nicholas’s College Church (Galway).