Virtaperko’s second organ work, the sixteen-minute Dawkins was commissioned and premiered by Susanne Kujala. Dawkins consists of three attacca movements, opening with Replicators which explores aspects of echo. The second movement, Towards Polymorphism, presents a large variety of contrasting musical material, eventually leading to the finale. The third movement, Immortal Coils, concentrates on a melodic flow upon a stable bass drone. The finale builds up to an elegy-like, tranquil section with numerous independent melodic lines which are combined, juxtaposed and overlapped. Towards the end, the piece calms down and through a modulation from an E-drone to E flat, Dawkins ends in quietness and peace.
Dawkins is dedicated to Charles Darwin, whose epochal book On the Origin of Species celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008. The composition was named after British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, the most important populizer of Darwin’s ideas. The naming of the three movements was inspired by Dawkins’s book The Selfish Gene, which the composer studied whilst composing the music.
for three-manual organ