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This piece was composed for the 2009 Annual Festival of New Organ Music competition to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. It will open the AFNOM Saturday evening concert at St Marylebone Parish Church in London at 19.30 on 1st August 2009.
The Fanfare is based on the notes C-A-G-A-D-A. G is taken to represent the letter N, thus spelling ’CANADA’. The piece begins with a glistening tremolando chord in the manuals, underneath which the CANADA theme is heard in the pedals. The main body of the piece is in the manner of a French toccata, celebrating the Gallic aspects of Canadian culture. The semiquaver figuration in the right hand is derived from the CANADA theme, while the ’big tune’ in the left features 7th and added-6th chords. The lyrical melody in the darker central section is subtly derived from the CANADA theme, extending and developing it. When the ’big tune’ is recapitulated, the chords are played in both hands, creating a massive effect, while the feet are given the challenge of the semiquaver figuration. The virtuosity required seemed appropriate for a piece composed to celebrate an institution that promotes excellence in organ playing. After a short silence there is a coda that appears to go off in a new direction. It is, however, derived from material already presented, such as the tremolando of the opening bars and the 7th chords of the ’big tune’ (now ’broken’). The idea is to evoke the sense of Canada being a place of newness and opportunity that nevertheless has deep roots in the past and continues to foster such aspects of European culture as composing for and playing the organ.
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