The Freese Collection

The Freese Collection


The University of Alabama

World Premiere by Faythe Freese, organist

Pamela Decker, composer

Cornelius Carter, Sarah Barry, Rita Snyder, choreographers

Members of the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre

Click here to view the artwork:

          Faythe Freese, Professor of Organ at The University of Alabama, will premiere a solo organ work entitled, The Freese Collection in three concerts on January 23-25, 2013 at 7:30 pm. as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Moody School of Music 86-rank, four manual Concert Hall Holtkamp organ.   Dr. Freese commissioned the work by composer, Pamela Decker, Professor of Organ and Music Theory at The University of Arizona in Tucson.  The University of Alabama’s Cornelius Carter, Professor of Dance, Sarah Barry, Associate Professor of Dance, and Rita Snyder, Associate Professor of Dance and members of The University of Alabama Dance Repertory Theatre will choreograph and dance during the premiere concerts which also feature organ music by Charles Tournemire and Stephen Paulus.  The January 25, 2013 date marks the opening festivities of the Tenth Annual of Alabama Church Music conference.

          The Freese Collection was inspired by three original works of art held in Faythe and Gerald Freese’s collection that were created by Nall, an Alabama-born artist, a protégé of Salvador Dali, and one of the world’s last living surrealist artists.  On Wednesday, January 23 at the opening night premiere of The Freese Collection: Nall will mount a visual arts show in Moody School of Music Lobby; and University of Alabama art students and Creative Campus students will display and discuss their artwork as an interactive response to Nall’s work.

The following three original works of art: 1. Nall Violin; 2. Iris and Poppy; and 3. Organ Cross inspired a 15-minute, 3-movement work, with each movement being approximately five minutes in length.  In the planning stages of the work, Dr. Decker wrote the following:

“My working titles for the movements are as follows:


1. Augenmusik

2. Lirio e amapola

3. La croix de foi


The titles represent not only three different languages (German, Spanish, French), but also the influences and materials that will be developed in the pieces.  For example, the double-eye design on the violin is reflected, of course, in the “Augenmusik” (or “Eyemusic”) title.  The design features of this work of art would be represented by motivic shapes and compositional procedures that derive from German styles and contrapuntal techniques.


The title of the second movement is the Spanish translation of “iris and poppy.”  The flowing lines and rich colors of this Nall work would find expression in Spanish and South American influences, with possibly a “milonga” type of tango as a lyrical influence on the rhythms and colors of the musical representation.  Tango ornamentation can be quite florid in nature, which would, of course, be in keeping with the evocation of the artist’s floral images.


The third movement, of which the title’s translation is “The cross of faith,” would bring French influences into the work as a whole, with liturgical elements also brought into play.  This final movement would draw from contemporary French materials and styles, with a toccata figuration depicting a cross “shape”.


The individual movements will be based on non-tonal modes of my design–similar in principle to Olivier Messiaen’s modes of limited transposition, but different in actual pitch content and design.  The intervallic patterns of these modes would also relate to the indicated images and nationalities: e.g., the mode for the second movement would be derived from “flamenco” modal patterns.  Nall uses mosaic patterns in these works; the overall outline of the three-movement would depict the mosaic formation with a musical motive threaded through all three movements, in the manner of a “leitmotiv.”  This recurring “mosaic” motive would undergo transformations reflective of the German, Spanish, and French influences.  Thus, there would be both striking contrasts and perceptible unifying factors, allowing for both unity and a sense of drama.  The work as a whole would be intended for recital/concert use, but equally at home in liturgical settings, especially in the case of the third movement.”


Ticket Prices are:

Adults $18.00; UA Faculty/Staff and Senior Citizens $15.00; and

UA Students/Students/Children $12.00.

Tickets are available at


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