Fantasy on Morning Song
for Organ

Available as a Complimentary Download September 2022



Fantasy  on Morning Song  is an extended setting of an early American hymn tune first published in a collection by John Wyeth, Repository of Sacred Music (1813), also in Ananias Davisson's Kentucky Harmony (1816). The melody is attributed to Elkanah Kelsay Dare (1782-1826).

Fantasy's introduction offers hints of a counter-melody yet to make its full appearance, followed by loosely imitative rising and falling triplet phrases drawn from the source melody.  A bold entry of the complete hymn tune in tenor register is accompanied by triplet toccata figurations; then the anticipated counter-theme is introduced (in the relative major key), followed by a restatement of the hymn tune, again  in  tenor range.  The  counter-theme reemerges sweetly, then gives way to an imitative transition. At last the hymn tune appears –  resoundingly and boldly – in bass pedal registers,  with the counter-theme juxtaposed above in treble registers, all animated by intensified rhythmic activity. A gently melodious coda closes with a freely mirrored restatement of the counter-melody – once more in tenor range – bringing Morning Song to a serene conclusion.
Fantasy offers technical challenges but promises richly rewarding musical results. Its architectural design outlines a structure with two contrasted themes, each presented and developed,  then combined simultaneously with one sounding above the other. As a hymn tune setting, it is suitable for use as a special church prelude or postlude, as well as for non-liturgical performances, and will respond to imaginative interpretations and registrations.