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Prelude and Fugue in G Minor

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (05/22/14)
Composer: Willan, Healey
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Haverhill OIC
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Late Romantic / Conservative Modern
The Canadian Enclycolpedia say this about the "early" organ works of Healey Willan (1880-1968): With the music for organ one enters a different world. Here Willan was thoroughly at home and made a significant and lasting contribution. One work stands out: the monumental "Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue" of 1916. It represents the culmination of Willan's first period of organ composition, which started ca 1906 with a Fantasia on 'Ad coenam agni.' The Preludes and Fugues in C minor and B minor and the "Epilogue" are the other major works from this period. While not exploring the possibilities of the instrument as searchingly as his masterpiece, they are idiomatic and very typical of their time. They combine an innate Englishness (with a Stanfordian flavour) and a European chromaticism that can be found in Reger and Karg-Elert. (Willan knew and played a few pieces by the latter, but it is doubtful he had heard much Reger at the time he was writing these pieces.)

Willan's later works are much smaller, and more "conservative" in their approach. He uses "regular" harmonies in "non-regular" ways - at least to my way of thinking.

The "Prelude and Fugue in G Minor" dates from 1954. It is a "small-scale work," relatively quiet throughout, and showing Willan's skills in part-writing and contrapuntal devices.

Marked "Andante moderato," the work is seamless, without a break between prelude and fugue.

Originally published in 1954 by Frederick Harris Music, the edition that I have is from 1994, and pusblished by Randall M. Egan.

A nice piece, and a good example of Willan's "last" period of composition.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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