Pentacles, my second work for organ, was composed in January of 1988 for the dedication of Kalamazoo College’s new organ at Bruce Gustafson’s request. In a single movement, the work alternates between introverted, lyrical refrains and more extroverted episodes of figuration. These two characterizations develop as the rondo progresses; the episodes become increasingly demonic, but the refrains respond with ever-increasing lyricism and warmth. Although developmental in form, the piece evolves out of minimal material based on fifths (hence the title) and seconds.

Selected Performances of Pentacles


Premiere: March 4, 1988, Bruce Gustafson, Organ, at the Dedicatory Concert for the Stetson Chapel Organ, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI

December 6, 1990, Karl Moyer, organ, Chadron State College, Chadron, NE

January 13, 1991, Karl Moyer, organ, Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, Lancaster, PA

March 22, 1992, Sam Porter, organ, at the Society of Composers 26th National Conference, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

© John Carbon 2015