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Christmas Meditation, Op. 183, No. 3

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/22/17)
Composer: Faulkes, William
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Romantic
William Faulkes (1863-1933), composer, organist, pianist, arranger, recitalist, teacher, chamber musician, conductor, musical organizer. Remarkably, for a composer so fluent and prolific, Faulkes was consistently omitted from the major dictionaries of music. From time to time, he is found in smaller more specific dictionaries – or perhaps more correctly, directories from the late 19th and early 20th century. In these, Faulkes is sometimes described as a leader of the modern English school of organ playing; or a leading composer of the English romantic school of organ playing.

He was born in Liverpool, and at the age of 10 became a chorister at St. Margaret's Church, Anfield, which was the largest brick church in England, and had the largest organ in Liverpool. He began his studies with the organist, Henry Ditton-Newman. At the age of 18, he was appointed organist of St. John's, Tue Brook, and five years later returned to St. Margaret's. He had a fine all-male (all volunteer) choir, and the level of musical excellence at the church was significant. As an organist, he was a brilliant performer, and earned the admiration of the leading British organist of the, W. T. Best.

"Christmas Meditation" was published in 1918, and is dedicated "To Miss Agnes Noakes."

The mood is a restrained, which is hardly surprising as World War One was ending, or perhaps just ended. The use of chromaticism is present, but the tonal-feel is calm and relaxed.

The work is based around the tune of "Adeste fideles," which is beautifully woven into the texture. There is a fair amount of "thumbing down", marked by "+" in the score.

The entire gets a play through on the vox humana. Since Hereford doesn't have a vox, I "created" one using the Solo orchestral oboe, harmonic flute and tremulant, and I think it's quite successful.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Faulkes, and St. Margaret's Church.

Tomorrow: "Rhapsodie on Old French Carols" - William Faulkes
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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