Promenade and March
“Flash from our eyes the glow of our thanksgiving,
Glad and regretful, confident and calm;
Then through all life and what is after living
Thrill to the tireless music of a psalm.”
(One of the original stanzas of Hark, what a sound)
For 37 years Graham Morrison was Musical Director at Edinburgh Methodist Mission. He was a first‐rate musician in so many directions. It was my privilege and joy to sing in his choir throughout that time, and to find in him a good friend and a like musical mind.
Graham died suddenly on 29 January 2007 at the age of 57.
In Graham’s memory I composed Promenade and March, a piece for piano solo based on Highwood, Sir Richard Terry’s well‐known tune to the hymn Hark, what a sound by Frederic W H Myers. Highwood was one of Graham’s favourite hymn tunes, and he based more than one organ composition on it.
The piece is in D major. It starts with a statement of the short Promenade, which is naïve and without affect. Next the March is stated in B minor, the classical key of suffering. It begins on a 9–8 appoggiatura, one of Graham’s favourite devices, and it turns out as a heavy dark tune with a touch of the macabre. The Promenade is restated, stumbling this time into the subdominant side of its tonality space, from which it is rescued twice. It builds up on a long dominant pedal A, and after a full second of silent suspense the March bursts out in D major, the classical key of glory. If the first statement of the March was the memory of a funeral, this triumphant restatement is the assurance of eternal life.
I made these recordings in 2007 in Central Hall, home of Edinburgh Methodist Mission. The lowest bass notes have been digitally enhanced to compensate for shortcomings in the microphone.
You are welcome to download, print and perform the printed score royalty‐free for any non‐commercial purpose. If you perform it in public, please mention that it was written in Graham’s memory.