George C. BAKER
Length: c. 13 minutes
Orchestration: solo organ
About this Piece
Texas composer George C. Baker (b. 1951) carefully crafted his Deux Evocations with hymn melodies to pay tribute to two French organists. The “première évocation,” dedicated to Louis Vierne (who died, as the score scrupulously indicates in a lengthy subtitle, June 2, 1937), uses hymn melodies associated with the Virgin Mary, while the second, dedicated to Pierre Cochereau (who died April 22, 1984), uses Easter tunes. In this way, it parallels the structure of Dupré’s Symphonie-Passion.
Baker’s austere style in the first evocation dwells in a trancelike state, allowing melodies to emerge in utmost simplicity, although the rapture created by the sustained accompaniment requires extra concentration. The second evocation undulates faster, building in volume to a grand final chord, though still using simple textures and presentation for the preexisting melodies.