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Psalm Prelude, Set Two, No. 1 (Ps. 130 v.1)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (02/16/16)
Composer: Howells, Herbert
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Late High Romantic - mid 20th century
Description:
Herbert Howells' (1892-1983) contribution to the twentieth century organ repertoire is one of the most significant of any British composer. He was Herbert Brewer’s articled pupil at Gloucester Cathedral for two years before taking up a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1912. There he studied with, among others, Stanford, who described the young Howells as his “son in music”. Howells’ career as an organist was brief: he was forced by ill health to quit the post of sub-organist at Salisbury Cathedral in 1917. He later deputised for a conscripted Robin Orr at St. John’s College, Cambridge between 1941 and 1945.

Howells has remained the quintessential English church composer of the twentieth century. The first set of psalm preludes was written between 1915-16 as three miniature tone poems which each comment on a particular verse from the Book of Psalms. The second set. from which this work is taken are written about 25 years, and show the composer's more "modern" style.

"Psalm Prelude, Set Two, No. 1" was composed in London on September 29, 1938. It takes as its text the first verse of Psalm 130 - "de profundis clamavi ad te, Domine" (Out of the deep have I called unto thee O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.)

This anguished and tormented, yet triumphant work is clearly a musical response to the death of his son, Michael. This is Howells at his most passionate – the cavernous opening of the piece leading ultimately to a climactic fff before the music falls away again.

It is a gigantic arch, starting in hopeless despair, building to the monumental "arrival" of God, and fading away to a more peaceful conclusion.

The work is dedicated "For John Dykes Bower" (1905-1981), who was organist of St. Paul's Cathedral in London from 1936-1968.

This work has a MASSIVE dynamic range.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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