James Primosch (1956-2021)
"Alleluia on a Ground" was written for the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia in honor of its retiring music director Alan Harler. The Mendelssohn Club’s request for a setting of just the word “alleluia” meant that I would be working without the formal structure afforded by a more extensive text. Therefore I chose to build my Alleluia on a Ground around a musical structure, a repeated succession of notes. Over this ground I have built a piece that is stark, sober, and mysterious rather than exuberant, becoming grand, but ultimately resting in a quiet peace. A brief quotation from a Gregorian melody near the close gives a source for this sense of mystery.