Diptych for the Baptism of our Lord

By Joel Peters. For organ solo [D], duration 14′ (each movement is circa 7″). Composed for the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. Recordings of both works played by the composer can be found here. Extensive performance instructions for The Voice of the Lord are included.

Of this set the composer writes:

The undulating eighths and triplets in the River Jordan convey the flowing waters of the river Jordan. The continual change of the time signature and the variation of figures mimics the river’s widening and narrowing twists and turns.

The Voice of the Lord attempts to express the all-encompassing nature of the voice of the Lord as described in Psalm 29. The drama of the beauty and terror woven into the composition was inspired by the opening lines of Rainer Maria Rilke’s first Duino Elegy (trans. by Stephen Mitchell).

For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror,
which we still are just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains
to annihilate us.