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Festival Toccata

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/17/13)
Composer: Fletcher, Percy Eastman
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Percy E. Fletcher (1879-1932) was born in Derby. He is best remembered for his many theater works, but wrote a few wonderful organ works, the two most-famous being the "Festival Toccata" and the "Fountain Reverie."

Last summer, I played the "Fountain Reverie" on the then "non-complete Hereford" set. I didn't have Salisbury then, but I really should have done it again there, since it calls for a Vox Humana.

Here it is, if you're interested:

At that time, I said that I do the "Festival Toccata" and while I DID try it, I really just couldn't do it, as a lot of the "skill" that I'd had in the past, just hadn't come back yet.
I've often thought about it, but last night, I found the music - photocopied, greatly reduced in size and taped to the back of Diet Coke boxes, so, I could play it without having to turn pages! ;-) I figured I'd give it a go, and while I could probably do it better, this is pretty cool.

It may be the ONLY "true" English organ toccata, as it really uses the French "railroad" toccata idiom to great effect. Combined with this are two fanfare sections, the first played on the Solo Tromba, and the second on the big Tuba. There's also a delicate section played on Choir 8'4'&2' against soft 8'&4" on the Great. Many performers play this part WAY TOO LOUD!!! The piece is dedicated to Edwin H. Lemare, so, it's a show piece without doubt.

Incidentally, when I was interviewed for a major cathedral assistant's job in England, I had to play this piece for the audition (with metronome on WHILE playing) at Lemare's mark of 120 to the quarter... :-0 Well, today I played at 126, but that's WAY too fast!

This was NOT performed with a metronome... :-)
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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