Benjamin Williams

Hymnus (2012)

Shortly after meeting Bassist Susan Landry—principal of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra—we got to talking at an MSO picnic and she asked if I might be interested in writing for solo Bass. I had recently been thinking of doing just that, and so was excited about the prospect. When she next mentioned that her interest was in a piece rooted in hymn tunes, I knew this was the project for me!

Each movement of Hymnus is loosely based on a hymn melody calling for praise to God from which a lyric fragment is used as the name. Some of the movements, such as the first, share a similar affect with the original hymn. Others, such as the second, put the hymn in a new light and perhaps invoke new meditations on the original hymn text. However, I will leave the hymns unnamed here so that they might also be simply enjoyed as they are, wordless hymns of praise.

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