C.22 - "(Untitled) Chorale"

Composed: ~November to December 2012

     Ah, the first chorale. As part of my music course at college, we were intensely studying all of Bach’s chorales, learning their technique and practicing how to write within their rules as we would need to complete a chorale as a part of the exam. This chorale was my first attempt at writing in a manner such as this – and, well, you can see just how far I disregarded the rules.

     The majority of the harmonies fail to work, the melodies are slow and dull, and it reeks of cliché. At this time, I never considered to use another author’s text for my compositions and always attempted to write my own. Of course, you can see just how much of a failure that turned out to be for these early pieces. Here, I barely managed one sentence, starting the sopranos along the text: ‘O’er the land and o’er the stream’ and that’s it! I affectionately left a note in the title 'Add Lyrics' after I finished the chorale - well, it's 2017 and they're still waiting!

     I recall that the climax at bar 37 was inspired from the soundtrack to my most treasured childhood video game – ‘Golden Sun’, in which "The Angarian Journey" has this exact progression. Looking back further, the passage from bar 17 – 18, a very cliché harmonic progression, was used in the soundtrack of the video game ‘Fire Emblem: Awakening’ - in the popular track "Don't speak her name!" - much to my surprise that such a cliché progression such as that could also be used to great effect.

Reminiscence written on 11th May 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw