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Improvisation on "St. Anne's Tune"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/18/17)
Composer: Archer, J. Stuart
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Early 20th century
Description:
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. He was a thorough professional, well connected and very much part of the pre-war London organ "establishment". It is true, though, that he he did not start his professional musical career until he was 33, after a false-start as a civil engineer and maybe taking a gap year or three. He came from a background of privilege: the son of the society portrait painter James Archer and the "name-child" of the famous and eccentric Prof John Stuart Blackie (self-invented Scottish man-of-letters), a close friend of his father. So Blackie was Archer's third given-name, not a nickname.

After his first post as "assistant" to Ireland at Chelsea (where Felix Aprahamian who knew them both noted Archer was the "older man" and implies he was Ireland's mentor) his fine playing and society contacts meant that he quickly climbed the greasy pole eventually landing the envied position at Third Church, which had a wealthy congregation and a large new church (much of it since demolished) bang in the middle of Mayfair.

Despite his importance on the British organ scene, he was not an academic musician, but rather, an engineer with an interest in chemistry. Not only an organist and composer, he was a regular contributor to "Organ" and "Musical Times" and the like.

(THANKS to adrianw for most of these notes!)

This "little" piece comes from a collection called: "Variations on Well-Known Hymn Tunes," published by Paxton in 1928. This one on "St. Anne" is the last in the set.

These are for organ or hamonium, but you can hear that with a little work, you can make this little harmonium piece sound very grand! I didn't change notes, but did a little (not much) filling out.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of J. Stuart Archer.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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