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A Benediction

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/21/18)
Composer: Hollins, Alfred
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Early 20th century
Description:
Alfred Hollins (11 September 1865 – 17 May 1942) was an English organist, composer and teacher, who was noted as a recitalist in Scotland. He was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, and was blind from birth. His mother died while he was young, and little is known about his father. After his mother's death, Hollins was sent to live with his "Aunt Mary", who gave him his first piano lesson.

In 1878, he enrolled at the Royal Normal College for the Blind at Upper Norwood. He impressed the Principal of his potential as a musician such that he was given the opportunity to study with Frits Hartvigson on the piano and Dr E.J. Hopkins on the organ. Hollins then presented several successful concerts, and the opportunity arose for Hollins to study in Berlin under Hans von Bülow.

In the ensuing eleven years, he was organist at Upper Norwood Presbyterian Church, at the People's Palace (Crystal Palace) and teaching piano and organ at the Royal Normal College for the Blind. During this period Hollins also made a tour of the United States, and visited major concert halls at the time. For many years, until the end of his life, he was organist at the Free St. George's Church in Edinburgh.

In 1922, Hollins was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Edinburgh University. This was in addition to being made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in 1904.

In 1925/26 Hollins gave a major tour of the United States, during which he visited sixty-five cities. It has been estimated that he traveled some 600,000 miles on his concert tours.

"A Benediction" was published by Novello in 1927. It is dedicated "To my friend Arthur Dyce Duckworth, R.N." Apparently, this was written as a "wedding souvenir."

The music is rich in melody, and colorful in harmony. This "type" of piece may be dismissed by some, but the music is highly sophisticated.

I offer these 2 uploads for comparison. :-)

The score and 4 photographs of Alfred Hollins are attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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