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Before the End of Light

by Frederick Frahm

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Music for organ solo. Dedicated to the Scottish virtuoso and composer Michael Bonaventure, “Before the End of Light” considers a 7th century text by St. Ambrose often associated with the Advent Season.

Procul recedant somnia
et noctium phantasmata;
hostemque nostrum comprime,
ne polluantur corpora.

From all ill dreams defend our eyes,
from nightly fears and fantasies:
tread under foot our ghostly foe,
that no corruption we may know.

(translation by John Mason Neale)

A profound sense of mystery pervades this work. There is contemplation about what the world might be like without Light, without a Redeemer.

Midway through the work, at a place of some repose, a quote of the Advent plainchant “Te Ante Lucis Terminum” appears in the pedal.

A passage at the end of the piece, a coda of sorts, suggests the tolling of bells for the night has ended and the sun has returned with the morning.


released August 28, 2020
Definitive performance by Michael Bonaventure. This music was premiered in February 2020 at Saint Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol, UK. The instrument heard here is the IV/71 Harrison & Harrison organ from 1912.


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Frederick Frahm Placitas, New Mexico

Frederick Frahm, American composer, organist, publisher, and parish musician was born in California, USA, in 1964.

A prolific composer, his catalog of compositions includes works for organ, choral music, chamber pieces, art song and song cycle, symphony and concerto, and extended vocal works including operas and cantatas.
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