Robert Helps, Pop tour

Keyboard Music by Robert Helps

Other Imaginary sacrileges: Félicien Rops‘ Tentation de Saint Antoine

The Altered Landscape (1992) [for organ]

— The only solo keyboard piece by Helps not written for the piano, this perverse little prelude was composed at the request of his close friend Hilton Jones (composer and organist).

Helps explains the title in highly allusive terms, exposing as well his flirt with sacrilege:

“The Altered Landscape sounds like it might be the title of an opera by John Ireland (one of my favorite composers) to a libretto by Henry James. It is in this case, however, only a short prelude, the title referring to the appearance in the piece of A Mighty Fortress is Our God in considerably altered harmonic setting from the original. I wrote the piece for Hilton Jones, and, although I had thought of it in the possible setting of a church service, I would not recommend it for use during the offertory — the high decibel and dissonance level at the beginning of the piece might prove a financial deterrent to the congregation.”

Listen to The Altered Landscape
performed by Hilton K. Jones

View the manuscript score scanned by
Digital Commons @ University of South Florida

Sound clip - The Altered Landscape