John Bennett (c. 1735 – London, September 1784) was an English organist and composer.
Details of Bennett's life are limited, but it is known that he died in September 1784, after serving as organist at St. Dionis Backchuch Fenchurch in London, for over thirty years. He had been a pupil of Johann Christoph Pepusch.
As the typical versatile eighteenth-century English musician, he played the organ and the viola, taught the harpsichord, and performed at Drury Lane Theatre as a singer in the chorus and as a dancer. According to Thomas Mortimer's The Universal Director (1763), he lived at Queen-square Bloomsbury, and succeeded Charles Burney as organist at St. Dionis-Backchurch, Fenchurch Street (demolished in 1878), in 1752.
An interesting aside for organists is the information provided in the church minutes for July 27, 1749: ". . . that the Salary of Organist be Thirty pounds p. Ann and that he be annually chose. . . .That the person who shall be chosen Organist shall attend in Person twice on every Sunday and on other usual Festivals, and to have no Deputy but in case of sickness."
The Ten Voluntaries for the Organ or Harpsichord are his only works known to this day; they were published by the composer in 1758, and printed a number of times since.
The "Voluntary No. 3 in G" features a beautiful diapason prelude, followed by a lively and lengthy movement for the Cornet, played here upon the Choir. The calls for "Echoes" are played upon the Swell 8' Flute, with flutes at 8' & 2' from the Solo coupled to it.
I've treated the transition from Allegro to Adagio at the end as a gradual loss of speed, as opposed to an immediate change of tempo.
The score is attached below, as well as a painting of St. Dionis-Backchurch, Fenchurch Street.
Stay tuned for my July 4th uploads with fireworks galore, including a major, "unknown" American masterpiece!