Eric Harding Thiman (12 September 1900 – 13 February 1975) was an English composer, conductor and organist.
Born in Ashford, Kent, he was largely self-taught. He was awarded an FRCO in 1921, and a DMus in 1928. From 1930 he was Professor of Harmony at the Royal Academy of Music and later, from 1956 to 1962, was Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of London. From 1958, having moved from Park Chapel he was organist of the City Temple in London, a Congregational Church. He was a keen advocate of amateur music-making and in the 1960s was the conductor and Musical Director of the Purley Choral Society. The choir changed its name to The Chandos Choir in 1969. He wrote much educational music for piano and other instruments, as well as music for church choirs, some of which is still performed.
Thiman's list of published works numbers about 1,300. These include a large number of partsongs and many anthems and carols. Most of his church music was written for the non-conformist churches, but he also wrote anthems and canticles for Church of England Choirs.
Thiman (like Rowley) is another one of "those guys" that I have largely discounted, because he wasn't Anglican. However, every one of his that I have performed has been well-written.
"Canzonetta on 'Horsley'" is the first work in the Lenten volume of "Festal Voluntaries" published by Novello in 1956.
It sets the precious melody composed by William Horsley (1774-1858) and always linked with the words, "There is a green hill far away," written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895).
This exquisite miniature sets the tune in the left hand against the most wonderfully sublime "accompaniment" in the right. The harmonies are quite daring, but the effect is always one of grace and dignity. There is something "Bach-like" about the interplay of melody and accompaniment.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of EricThiman, one of the City Temple, a drawing of Wm. Horsley, and a photo of C. F. Alexander.