John Travers (ca. 1703 – June 1758) was an English composer who held the office of Organist to the Chapel Royal from 1737 to 1758. Before filling several parochial posts in London he had been a choir boy at St. George's Chapel, Windsor and a pupil of Johann Christoph Pepusch.
He received his early musical education in the choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor. With the support of Henry Godolphin, he was apprenticed to Maurice Greene. He afterwards studied with John Christopher Pepusch, and copied, according to Charles Burney, his style. On Pepusch's death Travers was bequeathed some of his musical library.
About 1725 Travers became organist of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, and afterwards of Fulham church. On 10 May 1737 he succeeded Jonathan Martin as organist of the Chapel Royal, a post which he held until his death in 1758. Among his pupils was Jackson of Exeter.
This fine voluntary is taken from Volume 1 of "English Organ Music of the 18th Century," edited by Gordon Phillips (teacher of our member Dabchurch!), and published by Hinrichsen as "No 180a" in 1973.
It follows the common practice of a solemn prelude, played upon the Diapasons, followed by a "quick" movement, often for trumpet or cornet. In this case it is for the trumpet, and the Swell Trumpet 8' on the Hereford Willis does a fine job of it.
Also the idea of having the diapason prelude in the minor, and then turning to the major for the fast movement is also an effective and common stylistic trait of many 18th century English voluntaries.
I really like the way Phillips "edited" this and other works in the volume, but I can't help but think that he may have slightly "enhanced" the music. I have to admit that I found this piece, and the next one very fussy and tricky, with more ornaments than high Couperin!
Still, I like the effect and impact and hope that you will as well. :-)
I'm sorry, but I have no photo of Travers to upload! :-(