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the website of composer Nigel Hess

Jesu Joy Variations

Commissioned by Piers Lane and London’s National Gallery as part of their annual Myra Hess Day. 

Pianist Dame Myra Hess (Nigel’s great-aunt) garnered fame during World War II when, with all concert halls closed, she organised a series of lunchtime concerts at the National Gallery, playing in many herself. Her ‘signature’ piece, and the one which became most associated with her, was her own arrangement of Bach’s chorale prelude Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. These ‘Variations’ improvise around the original theme.


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