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Meditation on 'Crimond'

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/20/15)
Composer: Archer, J. Stuart
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Late Romantic
John Stuart Archer was born 19th Nov 1866, at Kensington, London, and died 21st Mar 1954, Paddington, London. Despite his importance on the British organ scene, he was not an academic musician, but rather, an engineer with an interest in chemistry. The only other thing I can tell you about him was the he went by the nickname of "Blackie". Looking at some of his compositions, it's really rather hard to think of him as an amateur. He had a good mastery of "how" to write for the organ, and his works ALWAYS sound great. This one is no exception. As you will hear, his harmonies are quite conventional, but their "use" is what makes his music work so well.

The "Meditation on 'Crimond'" was probably one of his last, if not the last, published work. Published by Paxton in 1951, it is dedicated "To Miss Ethel Mercer". The piece is a series of continual variations on the well-known Scottish melody, "Crimond", which is always linked with a metrical version of the 23rd psalm. It opens with a "duet" played by flutes, after which the melody appears in the left hand played upon the Swell Cornopean (a very smooth Trumpet). This leads into a sudden shift to the minor, with a "slowly swirling" figuration played upon the Swell strings, and a tricky staccato part in the right hand, played here upon the Stopped Diapason of the Great. This leads to a crescendo and a return to the major. Archer than begins a neat fugue, but it doesn't remain "fugal" for long. Still the build up is effective, with a "snazzy" little "off beat" figuration in the left hand. A sort of a cadenza on the Full Swell brings us to the final cadences. If you listen, you can the Swell opening, and the Solo, which has the Tromba coupled at 8' & 4' to the Great. The wonderful 32' Bombarde makes its presence FELT at the end!

You can find this, and a lot of Archer's works available for free download here:,_J._Stuart

The MIDI is attached.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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