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Fantasia on 'Salve Regina'

- Adam Taylor


Audio Sample

Audio Sample Notes

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Use: Marian, General
Required Resources: Organ

Salve Regina is the Marian antiphon sung at the close of Compline [Night Prayer] during Ordinary Time from after Pentecost Sunday until before Advent. There are two common chant settings of this text, a Solemn Tone and a Simple Tone. Music for both are available online. The Simple Tone is more familiar and is of more recent origin than the mystical Solemn Tone.

Adam Taylor uses both tones in his Fantasia on Salve Regina. Like many fantasias, it has numerous short sections in a variety of textural formats:

  1. Lentissimo, quasi senza misura – This opening is filled with full chords, echoing the Solemn Tone's introductory fifth, and fast runs which play out the first two phrases: Salve Regina, mater misericordiæ: Vita dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve..
  2. Andante espressivo – This section begins in 3-part texture, expanding to 4- and 5-part texture. Motifs come from the text: Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Hevæ. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.
  3. Poco più mosso – This portion is for manuals and finds the chant melody in elongated half notes in the soprano. Three other voices move below it in syncopated half notes. The result is a brilliant quarter note motion, but without any quarter notes written. These phrases are used: Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
  4. Liberamente – A simple solo melody over legato half-note chords quotes the phrase: Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
  5. Tempo primo – This brings a return to the opening texture, now with the melody: O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
  6. Moderato, alla toccata – The toccata section begins with sixteenth-note figuration in the manuals and the first half of the Simple Tone in the pedals: from Salve Regina, Mater misericordiæ … through … in hac lacrimarum valle.
  7. Meno mosso, dolce ma forte – A solo melody in quarter notes sounds over similar three-part texture in the left hand, with the pedal punctuating cadences with a descending fifth: Eia, ergo Advocata nostra … through … ad nos converte. The melody switches to the left hand, the accompaniment to the right for Et Jesum … through … exsilium ostende.
  8. Alla toccata – The toccata figuration from Section 6 returns, as the pedals play the ending phrases: O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria. The motif, Virgo Maria is repeated in the pedal, above which the manuals conclude with chords as at the opening, alluding to the incipit of the Solemn Tone.

Mr. Taylor's Fantasia is well constructed, moderately difficult, and would make an appropriate selection for any Marian feast day, particularly those falling within Ordinary Time.


Order #: 6140
Price: $4.50


- Organ/Instrumental
- Marian
- Ordinary Time
- Organ
- Chant

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