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Postlude on a Ground

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/27/15)
Composer: Murrill, Herbert
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Modern
Herbert Henry John Murrill (11 May 1909 – 25 July 1952) was an English musician, composer, and organist. He was born in London and studied at the Royal Academy of Music from 1925 to 1928 and thereafter was organ scholar at Worcester College, Oxford, from 1928 to 1931. He was for a time in the 1930s organist of Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, London and St Thomas's Church, Regent Street, London.

From 1933 until his early death, he was Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music. He was for a time in the late 1930s Musical Director of The Group Theatre. He also worked for the BBC from 1936 onwards, reaching the post of Head of Music in 1950. He died in London.

His works include a jazz opera, the music scores for several films, as well as incidental music for two plays by W. H. Auden, and 2 cello concertos. He also wrote some chamber and vocal works, as well as several piano pieces. However, his most frequently performed works now are his choral and organ works: his setting of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in E major (published in 1947), an organ piece called Carillon, and his arrangement for organ of the orchestral march Crown Imperial by William Walton.

Writing in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Ronald Crichton says that Murrill's affinities were Francophile and mildly middle-Stravinskian, both influences tempered by an English take on neo-classicism.

This little gem comes from "An Album of Easy Organ Voluntaries", published by OUP in 1949. "On a Ground" is the English way of saying a "Passacaglia", more or less. Although the piece is "small" it says it all in 3 1/2 minutes. To me, this is about as sweet as it gets!

Is it "easy"? Nothing is easy to do really well, is it? I guess it depends on how skillfully you manage the colors and crescendo.

I hope you will enjoy this and find it as satisfying to listen to as I found playing it. Salisbury is perfect for this, and the score is attached.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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