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Luke 22:39-52 (1995) The Betrayal and Arrest of Christ, is a sort of musical drama for organ in two movements. In this piece, each of te primary characters in Luke's passion narrative are expressed each with their own musical motive and a particular organ stop.


In the first movement, "...take this cup...", the voice of Jesus praying to not have to endure what is about to happen is expressed by an improvisation on the opening them with a reed stop. The disciples, huddled together in a diatonic tone cluster, sleeping, are realized on a stopped diapason and string combination.


In the second movement, "...Judas are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?...", the voice of Jesus is once again expressed on a reed stop, this time with a musical motive expressing dignity and power which tonally transcends all of the other voices throughout the movement. The disciples are once again realized with with a stopped diapason and string combination, this time with a 'broken' rhythmic structure and anxious, dissonant harmonies.  The voice of Judas is expressed in an ascending, then descending serpant-like chromatic line played first on the reed in counterpoint to the voice of Jesus, then again later in various places with the 'soldier' motive. The soldier motive is expressed as a dotted marching rhythm on the pedal manual (with the feet!) and the registration connected with their motive is Open Diapason Chorus with mutations. All of these voices and motives are then mixed together in free counterpoint, until at last the disciples have scattered, the dignity of the Jesus motive is heard once again in its original form, and Judas' chromatic line is also heard again in its original form.


William Whitley - Good Friday, 1998 


***The Score for this piece is hand-written, and landscape-oriented.

Luke 22: 39-52 (1995)

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