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Rhapsodie on a Theme for Pentecost

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (05/20/18)
Composer: Faulkes, William
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
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 time, W. T. Best.

"Rhapsodie on a Theme for Pentecost" was published by G. Schirmer in 1905. It is dedicated: "To Charlton T. Speer, Esq."

I think this is a fascinating work and one that "deviates" from other works by Faulkes. To me, this one is the "Frenchest" of any of the works by him that I have played. It uses toccata-like figurations, and while one would never call this a "French toccata" there at least some elements of that genre present.

Notice too the "pictorial" cadenza, which I assume is depicting the "great wind" that Scripture tells us about.

There is a central, more "chorale-like" section, and then the ending, with it's tuba fanfares and grand acceleration is more solidy English.

Please see the First Comment for some more details.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Faulkes, St. Margaret's, and some of St. John's, Tue Brook.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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