Carol Suite (1978, 2001)
Flute and organ
Premiere-1978, by John Thomas and Marian Craighead, Rochester, NY.
Part of Pipings, edited by Teresa Bowers, published by Augsburg Fortress Music.
Carol Suite opens with a lilting Prelude on an original theme, the rhythm of which reappears in each movement. The familiar German tune, “O Jesulein süss” (O Sweet Little Jesus) is presented in a straightforward setting with a rocking quartal accompaniment. “The Lamb of God” moves from grief through radiance to resignation, and the carol tune appears only in fragments. In the Irish “Wexford Carol,” irregular rhythms give way to a lyrical second theme that outlines the carol tune. The music of the Prelude returns and carries the work to a jubilant close. The premiere was given by my father, John Thomas, and organist Marian Craighead at Asbury Methodist Church, Rochester, New York in 1977.