Symphony #1 on a Chorale by Béla Bartók

This is my first symphony for solo organ that  is based entirely on the chorale as heard in the second movement of the Bartók Concerto for Orchestra. The work is dedicated to my friend and wonderful colleague, László Fassang. The first performance took place at the First Lutheran Church of Boston on September 2, 2012, the Hungarian premiere at the Franciscan Church in Budapest on July 13, 2013. The organ symphony is scored for a large concert organ with 3 (or more) manuals and pedal. The choice of the organ stops are indicated in the score, but I strongly encourage an individual adaptation of  these suggestions to accommodate the particular colors of each organ, the taste of the performer and the character of the performing space. 1st Movement: Prelude, Chorale and Variations The first movement starts with a prelude, using fragments of the chorale in a minimalistic, richly harmonic texture. This leads into the exposition of the chorale on the full organ followed by a set of variations. In the variations I treat the chorale as a cantus firmus in a variety of styles and transformations. 2nd Movement: Night Music The slow movement is in ABA form, A being a chordal re-harmonization of the chorale in thick, Messian-like chords, the B section is a chorale prelude using the CF in canon in a slow-paced  richly contrapuntal texture. 3d Movement: Finale The last movement is a virtuosic toccata in the French style infused with Bartokian 5/8 and 7/8 rhythms, the chorale is heard in the pedal at the climactic point towards the end of the piece.