Benjamin Williams

Jacob's Ladder (2012)

Shortly after moving to Mississippi, one of my colleagues at Mississippi College, organist Bob Knupp, planned to give a recital of organ music by composers he personally knew. Knowing that I am also an organist, he stopped by my office to see what music of mine he might be able to use. Much to my embarrassment, I didn't have much to show him! While I had written some functional organ music primarily for my own use at church, I didn't have anything along the lines of a concert piece for solo organ (he ended up playing a piece of mine for violin and organ with his wife). Lest I miss his interest in performing my music, he recounted this all in his recital program with the note "(Hint to Ben—write a solo organ piece.)"!

As it turned out, I wrote Jacob's Ladder for myself first, to use as a sort of 'test' piece. Exaltate in aeternum, for Bob, came shortly thereafter. I had a great deal of fun with this piece and couldn't wait to get working on another for someone I know has a great deal of talent. The first movement of Jacob's Ladder contrasts a stridently wandering melody with a solid, low hymn-like chorale. The hymn-like texture continues into the second movement with a soft melody that grows louder and louder until the rousing and rejoicing final movement, which harkens back to the themes from both of the first two movements.

To purchase scores or parts, call (330) 268-2590 or send an email to benjamin@williamscomposer.com.