Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund

 

 

Post tenebras lux - (2010)    

fantasia for organ


 

The title is a Latin phrase associated with Job, as well as a phrase used as a motto for many movements and entities throughout history. The simple translation is "after darkness, light." Light is an almost universal metaphor for clarity, wisdom, right and indeed the Godhead, while darkness in all its metaphoric meanings obscurs the light. In the story of Job, the test brought on by the dialogue between good and evil comes to its crucial point in the trust of a man in what I will call for this discussion, "lux."

 

For this, the structure of this fantasia is one of increasing dynamics and tempi in one large arch to its final, brilliant cadence. The opening is somber and in the deepest registers of the organ. The arching wave as at measure 12 and thereafter is the thematic structure as it accelerates through the course of the work.

 

 

At measure 52, the tempi reaches out to a more virtuosic set of gestures, as the registers and other elements become brighter.

 

 

The large arches become the central gesture at measure 92, rising and falling as if clouds passing reveal ever greater bands of light. We might recall the dream of Jacob, wherein light was the pathway for heaven's creatures. So this "lux" is ever more revealed.

 

 

The chords and firm cadence on the tonic in the long pedal notes become decorated with a detached toccata-like texture, and thereafter the staccati above a long-lined pedal rushes to end the fantasy with full organ.

 

 

Duration: 8 pages, circa 5' 00" -

 

The score for Post tenebras lux is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this score.

 

Post tenebras lux