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 computer software called Sibelius: it is not a live recording.


You can view and purchase the score of Passacaglia brevis from Score Exchange.

If you wish to listen to the piece on that website, select the ‘MP3 file’ link instead of playing the embedded score for better audio quality.

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