Twelve days ago, while skating, I had a little accident and broke my left wrist and tore the ligaments of my left knee. The left side of my body is therefore out of the game of playing the organ for a while.
When you’re a pianist and you lose the ability to play with your right hand, there still exists a large body of literature for the left hand only. For a large part this literature exists because of Paul Wittgenstein. He was a promising concert pianist in the early years of the 20th century, when he lost his right arm in the first world war. Determined to make a career as a concert pianist anyway, he used his enormous fortune to commission works from a number of contemporary composers. So we owe our thanks to him for works for the left hand by Ravel, Britten, Richard Strauss, Prokofiev, Hindemith, Franz Schmidt and many others.
As far as I know, no music specifically for the left (or the right, for that matter) hand and feet has ever been written for organ. No amount of googling these last few days has turned something up. Either oranists were lucky in the war or they just gave up playing after loosing a hand or a foot. So, I decided to write something myself and create music specifically intended to be played with one hand and one foot.
I used material I wrote years ago for choir. I adapted it for organ and added a new section to create a simple but nice A-B-A’ musical form. The harmonies used perfectly express the not so happy feelings I have for my present situation and I decided to go over the top and call this piece “Lamento”.
One of the things I particularly like about this piece is the way it ends with a dissonant instead of a consonant, without it being too obvious. Anyone who wants to try this piece him/herself can download it below. And it is of course perfectly okay to play it with two hands and two feet.
The recording was done with the Hauptwerk software and the sampleset, made by Voxus, of the Stahlhuth/Jahn organ in the St. Martin’s church, Dudelange (https://www.voxusorgans.com/en/product/dudelange).