Composed by Mark Siebert. Chant hymns are the basis of these creative preludes. General. Published by CanticaNOVA Publications (C5.6027).
Gregorian chant melodies were frequent themes in the organ music of the late Mark Siebert. This new collection of three accessible pieces is another strong entry in this body of work. The first setting is "Jam lucis orto sidere," a 6th century hymn whose title translates, "Star of light, now having risen." In the older Roman Breviary it was used at Prime; in the Liturgy of the Hours it is the hymn for Morning Prayer on the second and fourth Thursday in the Psalter. The Mode 2 melody is set for manuals only in three-voice texture, with a suggested 8' and 2' registration. Sixteenth notes make up the accompaniment, under a quarter-note cantus firmus. "Vexilla Regis prodeunt," the second piece, is also based on a 6th century tune. It is sung at Vespers from Passion Sunday through Holy Week. In this, the easiest of the three settings, the composer uses the Mode 1 tune twice, first as a solo in quarter notes over a three-voice accompaniment in manual and pedal. This is followed by the cantus firmus in half notes in the pedal, with an undulating quarter note motive above in the manuals. The final piece is "Veni Creator Spiritus." This very familiar Mode 8 chant is sung at Second Vespers of Pentecost, and various other occasions, like ordinations and the election of a pope. Siebert's setting is an easy toccata with the solo melody in the right hand, sixteenth notes in the left and quarter note pedal motion. Of medium difficulty level, these settings are perfect for any well-trained organist.