Visions was written in 1971 for Malcolm Williamson and is a more intricate, close-wrought composition than Patterson’s other organ works. Harmonically it owes something to Messiaen: for very often we hear rich chords created out of the overtonal properties of the instrument and its stop-registration. More important, however, is Patterson’s fascination here with detailed intervallic relationships (evident also in many of his orchestral compositions. Each motif in this work is a new metamorphosis of the 7-note theme that appears right at the start (on the pedals). In its early stages, the music moves towards a climax that depends as much on the dynamic and colouristic contrasts between the organ manuals as on thematic development. A long pedal melody following upon this bears with it a thematically related accompaniment and counter-melody. After a climax similar to the earlier one, the piece thins out texturally and subsides to a gentle, introspective close.
Commission: Malcolm Williamson
Dedication: ‘For Malcolm Williamson’
Publisher: Josef Weinberger