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Berceuse

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The scandalous neglect of British and US-American concert hall organ-music is still going strong until today. By Wolfram Syré

The scandalous neglect of British and US-American concert hall organ-music is still going strong unt...

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/18/17)
Composer: Farjeon, Harry
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Genre: Early 20th century
Description:
Harry Farjeon was born on 6 May 1878 in Hohokus, New Jersey, about 20 miles from where I live! His parents returned to Britain when he was a baby, and he lived in Hampstead in London for the rest of his life. His younger sister, Eleanor, with whom he shared a rich imaginary life, wrote children's books and poetry, including the hymn, Morning Has Broken.

He studied music privately with Landon Ronald and John Storer, then in 1895 he entered the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied composition with Battison Haynes and Frederick Corder, and piano with Septimus Webbe. There he was a contemporary of Arnold Bax, York Bowen, Adam Carse, Eric Coates and Benjamin Dale.

He left the Royal Academy of Music in 1900, but in 1901 he returned to teach composition. Two years later, at the age of 25, he became the Academy's youngest ever professor, having become the family wage-earner after the death of his father. He also taught at the Blackheath Conservatoire.

In 1903 his Piano Concerto in D minor was performed at a Promenade concert. His Phantasy Piano Concerto and the St. Dominic Mass both won awards from the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust. He regarded the symphonic poem Summer Vision as his best work, but the score was sent to Germany shortly before World War I and was lost.

Harry Farjeon composed music throughout most of his life. His compositions are mostly for piano, but he also wrote songs, sonatas, concertos and a mass setting.

He taught at the Academy for 47 years, despite developing Parkinson's disease in later life. He was still teaching thirty students a week when, at the end of the July 1948 term, he fell and broke his hip. He died in Hampstead on 29 December 1948.

By definition, a "berceuse" is a gentle piece in "triple time. This one is indeed gentle, but it's in 2/4! It may be Farjeon's only "organ work," and is the first of a number of his pieces I hope to upload.

The score is attached below, as well as 2 photos of Harry Farjeon.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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