Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (10 August 1889 – 12 May 1960) was a prolific and versatile English composer, best known for his output of songs. Gibbs also devoted much of his career to the amateur choral and festival movements in Britain.
His talents in Latin, won him a scholarship to Winchester College in 1902 where he specialized in history. However, while at Winchester, Gibbs began music studies in earnest, taking lessons in harmony and counterpoint with Dr. E. T. Sweeting. From 1908-1911 he attended Trinity College, Cambridge on a scholarship as a history student. He continued his studies at Cambridge in music through 1913 studying composition with Edward Dent, Cyril Rootham and Charles Wood.
His personal sound was far more influenced by “lighter forms of entertainment, popular song, and British folk song.” He excelled as a miniaturist.
The "Six Sketches" were published in two books by OUP in 1954. They show the composer as a true "Master of the Miniature" and are perfectly written for the organ. They will require some "thought," but they are very playable and enjoyable.
The music typifies the "warmly optimistic" feel of a lot of 1950's British organ music.
There is a definite affinity with the music of Percy Whitlock - also a master of the miniature. This "similarity" is very evident in these sketches.
"Quiet Thoughts" is an E major Andante, with a consistent "off beat pulse" in the pedal. It's quite unique.
"Folk-song" is perhaps the most "Whitlockian" of the set, and would please Percy greatly. :-)
"Processional March" is just what it says, but the harmonic modulations keep the interest up throughout, and would be a useful postlude.
These were not intended to be played as a "suite," but in order to save space (and ease of listening), I've combined the three movements.
The score is attached below, as well as two photos of C. Armstrong Gibbs.
The individual timings are as follows:
Quiet thoughts 0:00
Processional March 5:50