Frederick Frahm Papers, 1982-2004  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Frahm, Fredrick
Frederick Frahm Papers
1982-2004 (inclusive)
2 boxes, (.83 lin.ft.), ( 3 tape recordings)
Collection Number
ARCH6.5 (collection)
Compositional works of Frederick Frahm from 1982 to 2004.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
Access Restrictions

The collection is available for research

English, German, French, Latin
Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Frederick Frahm (b. Hemet, circa 1964), a graduate (BM & MM) of Pacific Lutheran University, studied with David Dahl, Gregory Peterson, and Randall McCarty. He studied composition with Gregory Youtz, Gary Smart, Walter Pelz, and Roger Briggs. He is currently Director of Music at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Bellingham, WA. Mr. Frahm has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Concordia University (River Forest, IL) where he taught modal counterpoint, music theory and composition, and orchestration. In addition to his duties as a professional church musician and a private studio teacher, he contributes regularly to the Bellingham Herald as a classical music critic. A prize winning and critically acclaimed composer, his compositions have enjoyed performances in the US, Europe, and South Africa. Recent large scale compositions include War Cantata (a secular cantata based on texts of American Civil War era poets), Love songs (a song cycle in 11 parts on texts by Kenneth Rexroth), From East to West (a Christmas cantata based on texts by Luci Shaw), and Grendel's Soliloquy (for violin and orchestra). He is represented by Augsburg Publishing House, Concordia Publishing House, Live Oak House, Zimbel Press, Musica21 Publishers, Capstone Records, and Wergo Schalplatten.

Though not actively pursuing the study of an instrument, Frahm showed an early fascination with the music of the Baroque period, especially the organ works of Bach and the harpsichord works of Rameau. An equal interest in the music of the church was nurtured as the Frahm family actively participated in the worship life of a local Lutheran congregation. In the year following his fathers' death in 1980, Frahm would transform his active study of the piano in the studio of Virginia Pritchard, a gifted local pianist in the lineage of Artur Schnabel. Frahm made progress quickly and there was first exposed to the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and Schumann. In addition, a substantial emphasis was placed on the contrapuntal music in J.S. Bach's "Well Tempered Clavier". Keyboard theory and improvisation skills were also a significant part of the training Frahm would receive in the Pritchard studio. Further theory instruction was offered at the high school by the band director and it was here that Frahm learned more extensively about music theory, the church modes and aural skills.

In 1983, after a term in a local junior college, Frahm was admitted to Pacific Lutheran University. Though not under a music scholarship, he pursued a curriculum with an emphasis in music study.

In 1985, Frahm was appointed as Organist-Choirmaster of Christ Church (Episcopal) in Puyallup, Washington. Here he received a thorough training in liturgy and hymnody, and developed skills as a conductor while working with the church choir. It was at this point that Frahms skill as a composer began to flourish with numerous settings for voice, choir and organ.

Before his December 1987 wedding to fellow PLU organist Susan Foster, Frahm moved to Laramie, Wyoming to pursue further studies in music at the University of Wyoming under composer Gary Smart. During this time Frahm was a chorister at the Cathedral of St. Matthew under the direction of Charles Clarke. In October of that year, Frahm was unofficially named a composer in residence at the cathedral and was offered his first commission to write an anthem celebrating the tenth anniversary of the consecration of Bishop Jones. The music, a setting of the Latin hymn "Ecce Sacerdos Magnus", is scored for choir, brass and organ.

Frederick and Susan were married in Puyallup in December 1987 and returned to Washington State in the summer of 1988. In 1990, Frahm returned to PLU to complete his Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music and in 1993 completed a Master of Arts in Music degree in Organ Performance.

Concordia University of River Forest, Illinois, extended Frahm an invitation in 1995 to teach counterpoint, orchestration and music theory as a member of the adjunct faculty. In conjunction with experiencing the dynamics of being a composer in the classroom, he also served as a parish musician to three ethnic congregations: St. Pascal Catholic Church (Basque), St. Priscilla Catholic Church (Polish) and Sts. Peter and Paul Evangelical Lutheran church (Slovak)

A brief piano work, "sonata Moirai" was honorable mentioned in the 1997 Paris new Music Review competition for new music of 60 seconds or less in duration.

Frederick Frahm's abiding passion for poetry and literature is of considerable influence in his creative work. Poetry is very often the point of inspiration for new compositions, hence the large number of solo songs and choral music in the catalog.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes Frederick Frahms original manuscripts, engravings, correspondence, recordings and publications. Most of the collection pertains to Frahms creative output as a liturgical composer including anthems, motets, psalmody and settings of hymn-tunes for keyboard instruments. In addition there is a substantial repertoire of secular music for solo voice in the form of songs and song cycles, as well as opera, chamber music and music for orchestra. The recordings document premiere performances, some of which feature the composer as a performer, as well as other distinguished performers and ensembles. Many of the compositions completed between the years 1983 and 1993 were written while in attendance at Pacific Lutheran University. The published works are collected from a number of publishers in the US and Europe.

Text setting, especially in the solo songs, is done with considerable attention to the capacity of the voice. Frahm prizes lyricism and his strong sense of American colloquial speech is inferred in the rhythmic setting of the words. Text painting and musical alliteration is in frequent use in accompaniments. The music is created in response to a given text. At times the text is altered to allow for a more artistic musical form, giving rise to a composition that is broader in expression than the sum of its parts. This combination of intuitive verbal declamation, a result of an extensive study of plainchant, interwoven with a sympathetic musical fabric, with much deference to the Renaissance and Baroque masters of text painting, is the distinguishing mark of a Frahm solo song.

Frahm's compositional process includes a short score sketch of the piece, and then one or more fair copies of the music, often with substantial revisions. The composer typically works away from a keyboard instrument to allow the internal ear unfettered access to the paper. This composition and revision process is well documented in the 1981-1995 sketchbooks.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Canticle of Heaven © 2001 Zimbel Press

Christ is the Bread of Life © 1993 Augsburg Fortress

Christ, Our Passover © 1997 Concordia Publishing House

Come Let Us Join our Cheerful Songs © 1996 Concordia

Come, O Long-expected Jesus © 1997 Logia (a division of Concordia Publishing House)

Crux Fidelis-Faithful Cross © 1998 Concordia Publishing House (signed copy)

Deus Converte Nos © 2003 Zimbel Press

Dominus Super Aquas © 2000 Musica21 Publishing

Epiphany Processing Hymn © 1984 Hope Publishing Co.

Epiphany Processional © 1984 Hope Publishing

Epiphany Processional © 2002 Zimbel Press

Epiphany Set © 1999 Live Oak Publishing House

Faith Alive © 2003 Augsburg Fortress

Faith of our Fathers © 1997 Live Oak House

Four Chorales for Organ © 1999 Musica21 Publishing

How Can I Keep From Singing © 1994 Live Oak House

How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds © 2003 Augsburg Fortress

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear © 1996 Live Oak House

Kyrie Eleison © 1997 Concordia Publishing House

Let our gladness Have no end © 1998 Live Oak House

Little Organ mass © 1999 Musica21 Publishing

Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth © 2001 Concordia Publishing House

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need © 2002 Augsburg Fortress

Now the Day is over © 196 Live Oak House

O, Love I Give Myself to Thee © 2002 Zimbel Press

Psalm 14 © 2001 Zimbel Press

Psalm 150 © 2002 Zimbel Press Publishing House

Safe in the Shadow of the Lord © 2003 Augsburg Fortress

Song to the Redeemer © 2002 Zimbel Press

The Joyful Easter Tide © 1995

Treasure in heaven © 1996 Concordia Publishing House

Variations on "New Britain" © 1995 Live Oak House

Variations on "Rendez a Dieu" © 1994 Live Oak House

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creator of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item] From the Fredrik Frahm Collection, ARCH 6.5, Archives and Special Collections, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection was arranged in the same order as kept by Mr. Frahm

Acquisition Information

Donated to Pacific Lutheran University Archives by the composer.

Related Materials

Compositional works located in the following collections:

Augsburg Organ Library © 2001 Augsburg Fortress

Let It Rip at the Piano © 2003 Augsburg Fortress

Six Hymn Preludes for Organ © 2001 Zimbel Press


Don't Panic 60 seconds for piano

The William Cullen Bryant Bicentennial Concert

Programs: Grant Us Untroubled Rest A Requiem for the Living 06/15/05 7:00 PM

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1.1 Junior Choir Medley.
Collection is available for research
1.2 Canzona .Savior of the Nations Come. We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died. 1985
1.3 Beloved Let Us Love One Another. Come Unto Me-for Joyce Dunn Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life Create in Me Five Marian Carols I am the Resurrection and the Life O Gracious Light Phos Hilaron O Lord Make Strong My Faith Psalm 51 Psalm 88 Song of Simeon Nunc Dimittis The Birth of Mary 1986
1.4 All Ye That Pass By Agnus Dei Anthem For Ascension Chorale Prelude on Fortunatus Ecce Sacerdos Magnus Gloria in Excelsis I am the Light of the World Magnificat Opus 19 Mass for Christ Church Rite II Prayer A Sanctus and Memorial Acclamation 1987
1.5 The Lord is my Shepherd Psalm 23 Chorale Prelude on "Scmucke dich, O liebe Seele Chorale Prelude on Paderborn Chorale Prelude on Picardy Psalm 46 Schwucke dich, O liebe Seele 1987
1.6 Hymn of Pentacost Magnificat Mass for the Good Shepherd Missa Brevis Psalm 150 Three Psalms of Man 1988
1.7 A Regina Caelorum A Song of the Lamb For Strongly Are We Bound How Blest are Those I am Resurrection I Sang for Him Love Came Down at Christmas Three Christmas Motets
1.8 Come my way, my truth, my life Confession of faith Daniel's vision Four variations on "Rendez a Dieu"* Gospel Procession Intonation on Crucifer Partita on "Rendez a Diev" (Bourgeois) Trio I (oboe, clarinet, bassoon) Two Chorale Improvisations * Tape recording 1990
1.9 Arches for 10 Players Alleluia VerseChorale Fantasy on "New Dahl" Chorale Prelude on "Kingslynn" Chorale Prelude on "New Dahl"Chorale Trio on "Herzliebster Jesu" Dominum Refugium Easter Alleluia Verse Epiphany Processional Hymn*Epiphany Processional*Fantasy on "New Dahl" Father in Heaven Fugue in g minor Song for an Equinox The Alpha and OmegaThe Lamb (in Ab Major) (Homage a' Schubert)The Lamb (in F)The TygerThe Visit of the Wise Men 1991
1.10 Ave Maria 5 Variations on "New Britain" for Wind Quintet Alleluia Verse-Offertory Response. Come, Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs* Dixit Maria Vivine It Came Upon a Midnight Clear* NocturneO Christ the SameO Magnum MysteriumPsalm 1 - all arrangementsPsalm 20-all arrangements Verbum Caro Factu Egt 1992
1.11 Ave Maria Children of the Heavenly FatherChorale Prelude on "Wachet auf" Paschal Sequence Psalm 100 The Joyful Easter Tide The Knot The Mystic Trumpeter a song cycle Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern Wither Bynner 1993
1.12 A New Jerusalem Apathy and Enthusiasm Christ Our Passover* Come thou long expected Jesus* Crux Fidelis*Fantasy on æSheng En' Fight The Good Fight How Can I Keep Srom Singing* How Great our god's Majestic Name Jubilate Domino-all arrangements Lenten Verses Psalm 134 Psalm 142Psalm 29 Recordance Nobis The Future Life Treasure in Heaven* .Two Hymn Anthems.Van Gott Will Ich Nicht LassenVerse for Lent II.Verse for Maundy Thursday.Verse for Passion Sunday 1994
1.13 Easter Canticle Blackmur's Elegy Canticle Christ my Refuge Christ our Passover In Adam we are all made one No one is justified in the sight of God O Haupt voll Blut und WudenOf Lucifer Seelenbrautigam Via Crucis "Von Himmel Hoch" 1995
1.14 Psalm 110 DreamsOrgan Sonata River of HeavenSonata BreveTime Like Glass-all arrangementsVoid Only 1995
1.15 Dicit Pax I Heard the Voice of Jesus I Will Sing The Story of Your Love, O Lord* Let our Gladness Have No End* Locomotio-all arrangements Sine Nomine 1996
1.16 Mourning Music Fred til Bod Now the Day is Over: "Merrial" Sonata Moirai The Bridge Opera in One Act The Final Conflict The Passion of St Luke 1996
1.17 Faith of Our Fathers "St Catherine"* Faithful Cross Jesus Lives! The Victory's Won The Perilous Sea-all arrangements 1997
1.18 Communion Antiphon Dickinson Landscape Drop, drop, Slow tears Earth's Darkest Hour Little Organ Mass* Lord Christ, When First Your Came to Earth* O Gladsome Light Unison and Organ Psalm Rejoice the Lord is King Une Jeune Pucelle What the Moon Brings Part I 1998
2.1 Carol Epiphany Set* Epiphany Processional* Four TreesMy Shepherd Will Supply My Need* Psalm 12 Psalm 14* Psalm 141 Psalm 150* Song to the Redeemer* 1999
2.2 Grendel's Soliloquy From East to West Love PoemsPsalm 57 The Earth in Stillness Waits 2000
2.3 In the Bleak Mid-Winter Kyrie Elieson: Missa Orbis Factor Introit I La Morte MeditataPalm Sunday Motet The Conflict of Convictions War Cantata-all partsWater, River, Spirit, Grace 2001
2.4 A Psalm of Lady Pembroke (psalm 139)All Glory, Laud and Honor Bell SuiteChrist Is the Bread of Life* Deus Converte Nos* Faith Alive* Gloria II with Intro God is a Gallant Foe choral scoreHow Sweet The Name of Jesus Sounds* O Love, I Give Myself to Thee*Peace is My Last Gift to You Remember, O Sword What the Moon Brings 2002
2.5 At the Caroling Come Let us Sing To The Lord Creator Spirit, Come Down He Came From Up Fantasy For Organ In Anno domini Brightest and Best of the Starts of the Morning Bless Now, O God, The JourneyCome, You Faithful, Raise the Strain Hallelujah, Jesus Lives Holy spirit, Truth DivineIn Paradisum 2003
2.6 Little Elegy Ordinary time Paean Regalis Peter Noster See In The Shadow of the Lord Sonatina for BellsWho is Wise Among You? 2004
2.7 Easter Carol Fantasy for Bells Had He Not Loved UsI Sought The Lord Paschal Procession Santo Spirito Star SongWho is Jesus?"Bullo" "Sorensen" 11 10 11 10 D 2005
2.8 Psalm 145 Advent I Psalm 80:1-7Bacus 8884 Bullo LM Canon Zimmerman 8787 DIn His Temple Now Behold HimLo, How a Rose e'er BloomingO Christ the Same Pentecost XI Psalm 104: 25-31 Psalm 1:1-16 Psalm 10 Pentecost XVIII Psalm 27 Psalm 116Psalm 116 voice and organ Psalm 122 Psalm 122 s antiphonPsalm 128 Psalm 138:1-9 Psalm 15 Psalm 16 Psalm 16:5-11Psalm 197:7-14Psalm 42:2-7Psalm 45Psalm 51: 11-16 Psalm 54 Psalm 61 unaccompanied Antiphon Exaudi Deo Psalm 66: 1-8 , 18 (adapted) Psalm 90:12-17 Psalm 90:1-8,12Psalm 96 for soprano Solo + Organ Psalm 97Psalm 98To Randal, with love undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Musical Compositions

Personal Names

  • Clarke, Charles
  • Briggs, Roger
  • Dahl, David
  • Frahm, Susan
  • Frahm, Frederick (creator)
  • McCarty, Randall
  • Pelz, Walter
  • Peterson, Gregory
  • Rexroth, Kenneth
  • Smart, Gary
  • Youtz, Gregory

Corporate Names

  • Augsburg Publishing House
  • Christ Church (Episcopal) (Puyallup, Wash)
  • Concordia Publishing House
  • Concordia University (River Forest, Ill.)
  • Concordia University (River Forest, Ill.)
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • St. Paul Episcopal Church (Bellingham, Wash)
  • University of Wyoming

Geographical Names

  • Bellingham (Wash.)
  • Chicago (Ill.)
  • Laramie, (Wyo.)


  • Composers