Finn Viderø - Passacaglia for Orgel (1946)
During the interwar period, certain composers revived the Classical aesthetics to replace the exaggerated emotionalism and formlessness of the late Romantic era. Whilst they drew inspiration from music of earlier centuries, they often employed twentieth century tonal and rhythmic devices, resulting in the Neo-classicism. Some of these composers, such as Viderø, were found particularly influenced by Baroque traits; hence, their compositions are called neo-Baroque music.
Viderø’s output of own compositions is little. Instead, he mainly edited old music and had published a volume of Buxtehude’s organ music. Dedicated to Ethan Rosenkilde Larsen, the first student of Viderø, this neo-Baroque style passacaglia is one of his very few original organ music and Buxtehude’s treatment to passacaglia is seen. Firstly, the bass ostinato assumes a thematic significance, appearing a total of thirty-two times. Besides, the busy passages have obliterated any dance feeling.
Bearing some Baroque qualities, this is a lean, angular and block-dynamic atonal work spattered with twentieth century tonality and the frequently changing tempo and rhythm, creating a fairly pure, genuine, folksy and churchly atmosphere. The effect is further enhanced by a vastly varied and bold registration provided by the composer himself.