Richard Lambert Music

Passacaglia brevis (Op.29 No.4)

A general-purpose organ voluntary based on two ground bass figures

Passacaglia brevis, composed in 2011, has four sections, A B A1 B1. There are two recurring seven-note bass figures (so strictly speaking it is more of a Chaconne than a Passacaglia).

The opening section is in the Aeolian mode based on the note A and underpinned by the notes A B C B D E B as the initial bass theme. The note pattern recurs seven times before modulating to the dominant, E major, for the second section.

Here, the second bass figure uses the notes E G# C# D# A F# B five times before the first one returns – this time in the A Lydian mode, which has the effect of raising the opening minor ambience to the major.

The final section, serving as a coda, uses the second passacaglia theme once more, concluding in a stable E major.


  1. 15 April 2012 at Kampong Kapor Methodist church, Singapore
  2. 22 April 2012 at Trinity Methodist Church, Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore
  3. 5 August 2012 at Harringworth Church, Northamptonshire
  4. 11 November 2012 at a Remembrance Day service at St Andrew’s Church, Glaston, Rutland


This recording of Passacaglia brevis was produced using Sibelius computer software.


Purchase Passacaglia brevis in Music for Organ Vol.1 from UMP

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