The following works are drawn from a substantial catalog of organ music by Frederick Frahm. For a list of additional works, please contact the composer. Click on see pages to read sample scores. To order your own copy of any title, click on the order music link. You will be directed to Musica Neo for an instant download, or to a retailer website for published editions. To hear the music, click on hear the music and your browser will be directed to the composer's YouTube Channel where you can search for the title you want to hear.
As of Fire
Inspired by a poem of Catherine Walsh, who commissioned the work in 2008. The music is intended for a symphonic instrument in a large space. An additional performance option allows for a narration of the Walsh poem in sections within the performance. As of Fire was premiered at Blackburn Cathedral (UK) by Robin Walker in 2009, and the US premiere was played by Douglas Cleveland at the Cathedral of St. John in Albuquerque, NM in 2010.
Tse Bi dahi (Ship Rock)
The name Tse Bi dahi, the Rock with Wings, comes from an ancient folk myth that tells how the rock was once a great bird that transported the ancestral people of the Navajos to their lands in what is now northwestern New Mexico. As the Navajo ancestors were fleeing from a warlike tribe, tribal shamans prayed to the great spirit for help. Suddenly the ground rose from beneath their feet to become an enormous bird. For an entire day and night the bird flew south, finally settling at sundown where Shiprock now stands. The legend of the rock seems to be a metaphor hinting of the site's magical power to lift the human soul above the problems of daily existence into an awareness of the great spirit.
This 6" work for organ was inspired by this holy site. The architecture of the work follows an ABCBDBA formal structure. One might envision a walk around the circumference of the ‘edifice’, which begins and ends in the same place and takes note of distinctive architectural features along the way.
Catechism was inspired by the poetry of twentieth century Brazilian poet João Cabral de Melo Neto. Cabral’s poem entitled Berceo’s Catechism (here translated by Richard Zenith) is a primer in the manner of poetic construction. The music, in four movements, seeks to musically portray the stanzas of the poem in succession.
Make the light word weigh
as much as the thing it tells
by isolating it from among
all the leaves it was lost in...
Two Sonatas for Organ
The Sonata per Organo, composed for Robin Walker and subtitled 'Il Girovago' (the Wanderer), was inspired by a poem of Guiseppe Ungharetti:
There is no
can settle down...
The three movements make use of repeated musical 'bricks' arranged symmetrically to form an architectural soundscape. The musical character ranges from majestic to melancholy to frenetic and exuberant. The performer is encouraged to maximize the use instrumental color to to distinguish the musical sections from one another.
The Sonate d’Église (Church Sonata) makes use of a French subtitle, ...le retour des fidèles (the return of the faithful), and harmonies reminiscent of French contemporary organ repertoire as a departure point. The first movement, Entrée (entry) is a majestic processional, the middle movement Mélodie Mélancolique (melancholy melody) is mournful and expressive, and the final movement, Sortie Joyeuse (joyful exit), is a festive postlude.
New Mexico Sketches
As a non-verbal language, music can communicate in many ways. When it is absolute, we seek to interpret the organization of its sound events. At other times, music can be used to describe a given scene or convey a certain narrative. The three New Mexico Sketches are musical postcards which present a first impression of some local geographies. They are grouped in the form of a day, morning-noon-and night, and in simple characterizations take note of the flowing waters of the Rio Grande, the noonday heat in the canyon at Chaco, and the eerie evening quiet on the plains which host the Very Large Array.
Nooksack River Psalms
The "Nooksack River Psalms" are collected in a set of three pieces based on psalm verses that are used to personify the river, which at times can sleep in a dry bed or rage and roil over its banks to flood crops and homes. The music is composed for manuals only, with an occasional pull down pedal note. Registration is simply indicated in the score, but the tonal resources of a larger instrument should be explored at the discretion of the performer.
First Fantasy for Organ
The musical fantasy finds its inspiration in improvisation. Of the three organ works by Frederick Frahm distinguished by this title, the first fantasy is the more symphonic, and the second and third fantasies are smaller works. Each makes uses of juxtaposed episodic material of great contrast, a broad use of color, and symmetrical form. The Second and Third fantasies can played with minimal pedal work.
A line quoted at the top of the score, appropinquante termino mundi (at the boundary of the universe) comes from the first canto of Iain Davie’s poem entitled the Apocalypse of Pope John. This text served as a departure point for the First Fantasy for Organ.
Technically, the musical ideas are connected by contrast, even contradiction. There will be bold, dissonant, jagged phrases offset by spare, unison or bicinium phrases characterized by triadic, albeit chromatic harmony. There are moments of indignant rage followed by serene melancholy, or moments of sweet chorale singing followed by ecstatic gesture, or brittle open consonance answered by strident dissonance.
A collection of chorales preludes for organ and pedals suitable for liturgical use or concert. Composed with the large instrument at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Bellingham (Skinner/Marceau, III/64), these settings are substantial and technically challenging at times. The cantus firmus is fully presented in each setting. The collection comprises somewhat of a church year with music based on the following hymn tunes: Llangloffan (Advent/Lent), Vom Himmel Hoch (Christmas), Morning Star (Epiphany), Noël Nouvelet (Easter), and Sheng En (Holy Communion).
Concerto for Organ
In three movements and running about 20 minutes in performance time, this accessible organ concerto was developed from the smaller fantasies for organ and is intended for a modest instrument with minimal use of pedals. While the instrumentation is for organ and string orchestra, the orchestra parts can also be played by a string quintet.
The musical architecture of the concerto makes uses of juxtaposed episodic material, a broad use of color, and symmetrical form. This music published by Zimbel Press, and the world premiere will be performed by the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra in July 2012 with the composer as soloist.