Today, March 20th is the first day of spring! Naturally, heavy snow is coming tomorrow... ;-)
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. 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.
"Spring Song" begins with a brief intro, then moves directly into the main theme, which is of the "salon-type," and a warm and lovely "violin melody." After working through the theme, the mood changes!
Suddenly, a storm whips up! What will happen? Will winter return? Will the crocuses and bunnies be safe? YES, they will be, as the storm quickly fades away, and the opening theme, now with a elaborate "same hand" harmonization and a flutter of decorations take us back to the opening "solo." A few more quick flutters, and the piece settles down to a soft and peaceful conclusion. The flowers and bunnies are safe!
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Faulkes, St. Margaret's Church, Anfield, and 2 of of Reginald Goss-Custard, the dedicatee.