Frederick Frahm

Frederick Frahm

Frederick Frahm in Santa Fe, 2012   Photo by Anne Staveley

Frederick Frahm was born November 8, 1964, in Hemet, California. A prolific composer, his catalog of compositions includes works for organ, choral music, chamber pieces, art song and song cycle, symphony and concerto, and extended works including operas and cantatas.

Frahm’s music is often characterized by poly-triadic tonality, rhythmic minimalism, symmetrical formal architecture, and the apparent influences of Cubist art and Imagist poetry. The composer’s essential style can be observed in recent organ works (especially Chaplinesque, Old Stone Church, and The Kingdom of Anxiety) where ‘geometrical’ musical shapes are juxtaposed to effect a shifting perspective on repeating subject matter.

 

For me,
beautiful music
finds a forward motion in
stark contrast between
austerity and density,
motion and stasis,
consonance and dissonance,
melancholy and exuberance.

In composing,
I strive for symmetry and dialogue
between component and detail
in the formation of a musical architecture.

In this music,
I seek to express a duality of being,
contradiction of meaning,
tension between that which is eternal
and that which is tangible,
opacity and clarity,
mystery and reason.

Frederick Frahm, 2016

Frahm is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University where he earned degrees in Church Music and Organ Performance. He studied organ and counterpoint with David Dahl, Gregory Peterson, and Randall McCarty; composition with Gregory Youtz (PLU), Gary Smart (University of Wyoming), Walter Pelz (Concordia University, River Forest), and Roger Briggs (Western Washington University). A significant portion of his extensive catalog of music is in print and is represented worldwide by more than a dozen publishers. A collection of his early sketches, manuscripts, recordings and correspondence are archived in the Mortvedt Library at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.

A professional church musician for more than 35 years, Frahm served parishes across the country including eight years at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Bellingham, WA and most recently for ten years as Director of Music and Principal Organist at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM. He has contributed to the Bellingham Herald in Bellingham, WA as a classical music critic and served as an adjunct faculty member of Concordia University in River Forest, IL where he taught 16th century counterpoint, music appreciation, theory and composition, as well as orchestration.

An active performer, Frederick Frahm regularly performs organ recitals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and as organist and celestist for the New Mexico Philharmonic and Santa Fe Symphony Orchestras. The composer also works with select students in music composition, organ performance, and improvisation.

As a music editor, Frahm prepared a new edition of chorale preludes (Opus 123) by 19th century Prussian composer Friedrich Wilhelm Markull which was published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers in 2011. Working with Carson Cooman, Frahm edited Gallery Music, a collection of music for organ and handbells, and the Second Suite for Organ by Seattle Composer Nathan Jensen both of which are published by Zimbel Press.

As an educator, Frahm currently works with Santa Fe Opera Company as a teaching artist (composer) within the Active Learning through Opera program. In the course of a school term, students learn the pattern of the Hero’s Journey as codified by mythologist Joseph Campbell, and then work together to create their own chamber operas (libretto, music, staging, and costuming) for public performances. This program works with elementary and middle school age children public school districts in Northern New Mexico.

A past Dean of the Albuquerque Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Frahm is in demand as a teacher and clinician (especially on the topics of hymn improvisation and service playing), and is a strong advocate for the creation of new music for organ.

Frederick Frahm has been married to soprano Susan Frahm since 1987. They reside in Placitas, New Mexico, USA.

On this page you will find new works created exclusively for Firehead Editions by Frederick Frahm. This collection of works will continually expand and will typically include works for organ solo, choral ensembles, handbell choirs, and selected chamber works.

Click on a title to see sample pages.  If you have any questions about the music or want to see more pages of a particular score, please contact the composer directly.


ORGAN WORKS

Before the End of Light
Cabeza de Vaca (trilogy)
Chaplinesque

Firehead
Good Friday, 1519
Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn
Jesus Meine Zuversicht
La Morte Meditata
Llangloffan
Malinche in the Forest
Morning Star
Musica Badia
Noël Nouvelet

Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland
Old Stone Church
Salmo 150 per Organo
Seelenbräutigam
Sonata d’Eglise
The Kingdom of Anxiety

Three New Mexico Sketches
Three Pieces (after Odilon Redon)
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her
Winter-Moon

HANDBELL PIECES

Abó Chapel (14 bells and organ)
Children of the Resurrection
(14 bells)
Ember Days (8 bells)
I am the Way
(13 bells)
Little Toccata (8 bells)
Nicodemus 
(12 bells)
Oration for Bells 
(23 bells for six ringers)
Psalm 150 for Bells 
(12 bells)
Sarabande 
(13 bells)
Six Little Preludes (8 bells & organ)
Advent:Your People Long to Greet You, O Lord
Christmas:Good News of Great Joy
Epiphany:The Baptism of Christ
Lent:At The Desert’s Edge
Easter:This is the Day the Lord Has Made
Pentecost:The Spirit Intercedes For Us
Simply in D Minor (22 bells)
Simply in F Major (18 bells)
Temple Bells (8 bells)
Three Little Carols (9 bells)
“Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”
“In the Bleak Mid-Winter”
“Angels We Have Heard On High”
Two Copper Coins (10 bells)
There is a River (22 bells)
Uriel the Archangel (oboe & 8 bells)
Veni Emmanuel
(15 bells)

SOLO SONGS

A Christmas Carol
(text by G. K. Chesterton)
Soprano (or tenor) & Organ

Agnus Dei
(text in Latin from the Roman Mass)
Soprano & Organ (or chamber ensemble)

In Paradisum
(text from the Missa pro Defunctis)
Mezzo-Soprano & Organ

O Love Divine
(text by Charles Wesley)
Voice & Organ

Pastorale
(text by Hart Crane)
Baritone & Piano

CHAMBER WORKS

Augustine and the Seashell
String Trio (violin, viola, cello) & Organ

Grendel’s Soliloquy
Violin Solo & Organ

O Night
Flute (oboe) & Organ

Quaraí Chapel
String Orchestra & Organ

Reverie
Horn in F & Organ

Septem Verba
(The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross)
Violin Solo & Organ

Tudeley Windows
B Flat Clarinet & Piano

CHORAL MUSIC

A General Communion
(text by Alice Meynell)
SATB & Organ
Anthem for All Saints or general use

Art Thou Weary?
(text by John Mason Neale)
SAB & Piano
Anthem for Lent

Blest Be the Tie That Binds
(text by John Fawcett)
SAB & Organ
Anthem for general use

Bosque Songs, Book 1
(text by Hazel Hall)
Mixed Voices (in three parts) & piano
Especially for Middle School Choirs

Bosque Songs, Book 2
(text by Elinor Wylie, Louise Moulton, Sophie Jewett)
Treble Voices (two-part), Solo Violin & Piano
Especially for Middle School Choirs

Bosque Songs, Book 3
(text by Emily Dickinson)
SATB, String Trio & Piano
Especially for High School Choirs

Come, Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace
(text by Barbara Davis Pyles)
Unison (opt. 2 part) & Piano
Anthem for Advent

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
(text by Charles Wesley)
Based on Southern Harmony tune ‘Jefferson’
SATB & Piano
Anthem for Advent

Down He Came From Up
(text by Luci Shaw)
SATB, Violin Solo & Organ
Anthem for Christmas

Four Introits for Advent
(various seasonal texts)
SATB & Organ
Suitable for the four Sundays in Advent

God is a Gallant Foe
(text by Ezra Pound)
SATB (div) & Wind Quintet
Concert Work

Hosanna Blessing Triumph Honor
(text by Luci Shaw)
SATB, unaccompanied
Motet for Palm Sunday

Iesus et Maria
(text by Eva Gore-Booth)
SATB & Violin Solo
Anthem for Epiphany

In the Beginning-Breath
(text by Ian Davie)
SATB (div.) & Organ
Anthem for Pentecost

Many Waters
(text by Algernon Charles Swinburne)
SATB, unaccompanied
Anthem for general use or weddings

Never Weather-Beaten Saile
(text by Thomas Campion)
SAB, & Organ
Anthem especially appropriate for All Saints or All Souls Day and memorials

O Love Divine
(text by Charles Wesley)
Unison & Organ
Anthem for Lent, or general use

O Magnum Mysterium
(text from the Latin Matins for Christmas)
Treble Voices & Organ
Anthem for Christmas

Star Song
(text by Luci Shaw)
SATB & Organ
Anthem for Epiphany

Te Deum
(text from the Latin, and from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman)
SSATBB and Tenor Solo, unaccompanied
Anthem for general use

Treasure
(text from St. Matthew 6:19-21)
SAB & Piano
Anthem for Lent, and especially Ash Wednesday

Two Turtle Songs
(text from Aesop’s Fables (Tortoise and the Hare & Tortoise and the Eagle), adapted in English by the composer)
SATB & Piano
Secular Choral music for schools, universities, or community choruses

Unto Us a Son is Given
(text by Alice Meynell)
SATB, unaccompanied
Anthem for Christmas

Vision of Isaiah
(text by Eva Gore-Booth)
SAB & Piano
Anthem for Advent

Who is Wise Among You?
(text from the Letter of James)
SATB, unaccompanied
Lectionary 25 B, or general use

Wonder, Wisdom, Might, and Faith
(text by Eva Gore-Booth)
Soprano Solo, opt. Treble Chorus (unison) & Organ
Anthem for Advent
(see Vision of Isaiah for an alternate setting)

MAJOR WORKS

Interior
Chamber Opera
(libretto after a play by Maurice Maeterlinck)
Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Baritone soli and Piano
(a string orchestra accompaniment is available)

John the Baptist
Church Opera
(libretto by the composer adapted from scripture and other historical sources)
SATB soli, Chorus & Organ