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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/22/17)
Composer: Ley, Henry George
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th century
Henry George Ley MA DMus FRCO FRCM HonRAM (30 December 1887 – 24 August 1962) was an English organist, composer and music teacher. He was a chorister at St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle, Music Scholar at Uppingham School, Organ Scholar of Keble College Oxford, and an Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music where he was a pupil of Sir Walter Parratt and Marmaduke Barton. He was organist at St Mary’s, Farnham Royal, from 1905–1906, and at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (1909–1926), Professor of organ at the Royal College of Music in London from 1919, and Precentor at Radley College and at Eton College (that is, in charge of the music in College Chapel) from 1926 to 1945. He was an Honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford, from 1926 to 1945 and died on 24 August 1962.

"Adagio" was published in 1949, and is dedicated "To H. T. Y". It was included in the book, "A Book of Simple Organ Voluntaries," published by Oxford University Press. Normally, OUP "describes" its publications very accurately, but in this case, the word "easy" is wrong! This is piece is anything but easy! Actually, it's quite hard, and would certainly give problems for a beginner!

It's an awkward thing, and I found it hard to "get it right." The transition from "slow" to "agitated" is hard to manage, and registration changes are fussy. I wasn't completely happy with the outcome, but, here it is. :-)

Ley wrote in a style that was typical of the 1940s-1950s organ scene in Britain. Still, his music has a unique "feel" to it, and it stands sort of apart from other composers.

I wouldn't call his music "pretty," and to me, that this is the case with this piece. Certainly it is refined and sophisticated, but somehow, "beauty" eludes it - but that is just my opinion, I suppose!

The score is attached below as well as several photos of H. G. Ley.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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