Anther hymn tune which occasionally I've been known to warm up to. While its repetitious nature and simple harmonies leave me a little cold much of the time, "Ascension," by William Henry Monk, is nonetheless an energetic and entertaining piece, full of opportunity for adaptation.
And so. Variations. A straight reharmonization could be interesting, too, but I didn't do that. There's not a lot of extremely difficult passagework (until the fugue, anyway). There was a deliberate attempt to vary the textures more than anything else, and so concepts of registration (except where needed in the pedal) and dynamics are left up to the performer, at least for the moment.
The theme, found in just about any hymnal I know, and the first variation. The theme is just the hymn spread across the open score, although there's no reason that it couldn't be played in the manuals alone.
The first variation is intended as a two-voice march-time piece. On its own, usable as an introduction to the hymn, if you don't mind a half-speed introduction. Not much to say about it, the right hand expresses the melody, the left hand dances around it, life is good.
So. A piece for Ascensiontide.
PDF link is here.
Comments are welcome.
Variations on Monk's "Ascension" by Mike Cutler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.